arts and crafts, baking, christmas, humor

1 Day ‘Til Christmas

IMG_5052Cue “jingle bell rock” RED nail polish… Hussy.

Pictures with Santa… Oh geez. 

Christmas-themed karaoke… Oh no, not more singing. Oooh yes! There’s always gotta involve some chart-topping vocals… Kill me.

And you got yourself a bonafied -everybody’s having a good time-

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 “Ugly Sweater” Christmas Party!

FML *slaps forehead

Last night was the Ugly Sweater Christmas party – it was a BLAST! – and a HUGE thank you to my amazing friends for hosting such a fabulous holiday bash every year; but let’s back up into the day with the start of opening up the “Ugly Sweater” Christmas Cookie Kit. Uh-oh. 

that’s right, nary a mention the amount of cookies inside

This thing was just the most adorable “all included” kit ever and what a great idea for family time. Something’s coming. Except for the fact that for $8.99 it only occupied six freaking cookies inside the damn kit. Normally, we bake a ton, then decorate. I mean, dozens, of cookies. It makes for an evening. No phones, maybe some christmas movies, but mostly a christmas playlist with pandora, and we’re decorating away. We decorate Christmas cookies every year, by the way, it’s one of our annual holiday traditions.

Ugh, you’re killing me with all this sweetness. Yes, we are those people. Back to the deceptive box. Notice in the picture I took of the box it says it “includes” remade cookies. No cookie count mention. Really? Let me look, maybe you missed it.

Okay, go for it… I’ll wait.

Photo Dec 24, 1 44 17 PM
I could feed a whole Army…            of 6?

You didn’t find it. No, you didn’t. How do I know?  I know that because it, the box, never. Quantifies. A nibbles count. Oh, and those nicely separated snowflake and Christmas tree sprinkles? They were missing? Nope. They were in there. They were just in there organized in bags of a mixed, clusterf***  version of trees, mistletoe AND snowflakes confetti. And you’d be correct again if you noticed those teeny tiny tubes, labeled ICING, weren’t nearly filled with enough icing to frost even one of those pre-baked sweater wafer bites.

Bastard cookie factory from hell.

We get into the box and are dismayed by this entire epic holiday pre-made bakery fail that we feel it would’ve all been in vain if we didn’t document the celebration-heisting foolery. Follow me on Instagram @ritaslanina and check out the cookie box from hell on the Ugly Sweater Highlights!

So when we finished our twenty minute reenactment of holiday cookie decorating, we then moved onto our actual structuring of the Ugly Christmas sweaters. Woohoo!

Why buy when you can pull it together yourself, with frugalicious style, I say!

We get back from from Dollar Tree with all of our loot and after throwing it around the room…IMG_5039.jpg



glue sticks…

and cotton balls… flying around our heads… the sound of scissors snipping and glue guns a-glueing. Magic. Was. Being made…

And more importantly, quality time with family and friends was happening. OMG. I -heart – that – so – much. Like probably, literally, THE MOST! 

Unknown-2.jpegAs we haul our cabooses to the annual gala, and enter with only the grandest of entrances, we party the night away with tons of food, friends, and holiday cheer!

Oh yeah, and a mic in my hand.

IMG_1192No one was getting outta there without some karaoke tidings under their belts. Of course not.

And yes, once that mic was turned on, you could’t get me OR the other five of us away from it. Karaoke Jail. 

Eh, what can I say….

We just LOVEChristmas. *wink

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*from all of us here at, we wish you a fun filled Merry Christmas, full of laughter and may all your Christmas wishes come true!

**special thank you to 7 for all mankind, shop the winter sale for up to 40% off today! (exp. 01/22/2018)

***Dont forget to enter Rita’s Holiday Giveaway at (exp. 12/31/2017)

baking, humor, self-help

Gluten Free. Kind of… Not Really


When was the last time you baked something? I’m drawing a blank.

This morning? A pop tart.

Last night? Quesadilla.

Over the weekend? Papa John’s made my pizza. And it made it to my home.

You remember good ol’ mom’s cupcakes? I think I was 8 years old.

Anyway, I had a hankering to bake. Oh no. I had old bananas and hopefully enough ingredients to put those ripening bananas to good use. This may not end well…

Oh no. Remember the last time you did the-

Hold your horses. I don’t plan on recreating the Pumpkin Seed Incident. Well, I don’t intend on it… but things can happen and we’ll just keep our fingers crossed over here.  Or maybe you should just hit the local Starbucks and bite down on a cake pop… 

Stop it. But yeah, maybe I should.

I found a recipe online for One Bowl Gluten Free Banana Bread. Wow, that’s a mouthful. Hmm, do I have these Gluten-Free items? What the heck makes a food gluten free anyway? Turns out, it’s the flour you use… Maybe. I think. Actually I still don’t know and I still feel a little confused about it. A lot confused, certainly.

Circling back: So, since I didn’t quite have enough almond flour-the gluten free part- I did equal amounts almond flour and white flour. White flour is not the gluten free part. Which I guess makes my One Bowl Gluten Free Banana Bread a Semi-Not Really- Gluten Free Banana Bread… And semi-not really yummy, most likely.

But I have faith. There’s the problem. Focus.

pexels-photo-227432.jpegI’m usually a healthy eater. Lies. No! Totally true! Here’s some recipes -of the au natural 10 MUST TRY Banana Bread Recipes cleverly design to prove it!-  I tend to stick to the basics and the natural stuff like fruits and vegetables. Yuck. I don’t eat a ton of sweets, might be fibbing on that one; throw a bag of Swedish Fish in front of me and I’ll inhale them like a vacuum. Go ahead, try it! But for the most part, my diet is quite predictable and extremely BORING. I knew it. Blah. 

Ask me what my diet entails and I will sound like a broken record. Squash. Zucchini. Salads using only dense greens like kale, baby greens, and spinach topped with flaxseed oil. Potatoes. Hard boiled eggs and Egg whites. Protein shakes. Anything fried up is done so using organic coconut oil. I practice intermittent fasting (what?!) and I wear a waist trainer (a who?!) on a daily basis. Tell me more about those things. Upcoming vlog/blogs on those soon. Good, my life wouldn’t have mattered otherwise. Oh geez. Anyway…        Hey, I’m aging just like the rest of the human race. I gotta stay on top of this killer body I treat like a temple. Did you just say “killer body?” 

That’s right. I said it. Killer attitude, killer body people. Keep it confident. *wink