arts and crafts, baking, christmas, contests and giveaways, humor


Merry Christmas!pexels-photo-688019

Santa has made it, he’s delivered all his presents (yay!) and it’s time to clean up. (boo!) Already? All this hubbub and it’s over. Done. Poof. Just like that!

No, just kidding…

We still have twenty-four hours of yule log to watch!

Christmas Eve was special this year to us as we decorated our tree, last minute,

Sneakily wrapped our presents for one another. Last minute.

…and ate Christmas Orange Cinnamon Rolls. Hot and fresh out of the oven!

Enjoyed EVERY minute!

As Santa flew threw the night, and I tried to listen for his sleigh bells, I was awakened by the seasonal sounds of car alarms going off in the city. Ah, Los Angeles in winter. Yep.

But, if you listened hard enough, past the Falcon 9 Rocket of last week, you’ll hear Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer hauling the fat man in red with all those goodies for all the children of the world. Cue song: Here Comes Santa Clause or Christmas

So cliche. Yup. Deal with it. I’m all  Yuletide cheer and a big glass of spiked Eggnog!
I hope you all have somewhere to go this Christmas and plenty of love and laughter in your path! I’m slapping on my Christmas war paint as we speak and throwing on some leather pants!

I love dressing up for the holidays. Of course you do. Especially, when I don’t have to cook this year! Oh, you fancy, huh.

Except, for some reason, these fake lashes are trying to gouge my eyes out. And now that the glue is drying – I use a hairdryer to speed up this process – the damn flutter looks crooked. Oh well, Cruella DeVille, here I come! Wow.  That’s right, No shame in my eyelash fancy game.
Online Sheet Music
Oh yeah, and I gotta make sure I’m pulling out that keyboard for more singing. Oh Lord. Yup, I’m a one-woman traveling band and if you don’t watch out, I will run you over with my harmonica.

Who walks around with a harmonica? It’s in my pocket. Stop it.

And what happened to the keyboard? Oh! That’s strapped to my back. Seriously, no.

Oh, Yes!

And… more Christmas-themed Karaoke? Ohhhh yeah, definitely MORE of that! You can NEVER have too much of that!! Um, I think you can.


Anyway, If you can take the time to volunteer today, do so. Those in need will appreciate it. Also, don’t forget to login to your GoodReads account today and Enter the Harbor Excursions Giveaway! Contest ends December 31st! Details below:

Ooops! I’m being told it’s time to open up the presents!

But first, I’ve gotta hit the holiday head and drop off my own Yule Log….



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-

7 For All Mankind, a division of VF Contemporary Brands



 “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

7 For All Mankind, a division of DG Premium Brands, LLC

*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)

arts and crafts, christmas, humor

…2 Days Until Christmas


Laundry? Check.

Pecan pies baked? Uh… bake a…

-was I supposed to make something this year?

Ugly Christmas sweater? Oh poo.

Alien Invasion? Oh geez. *shakes head -Not again.

Are you ready? For the Christmas thing? Or the Alien situation?

Apparently not. 

With all the caroling of the bells filling in the seasonal sounds of the air, toasty warm fireplaces wafting our holiday noses, and keeping a lookout for the big man in red in the sky. It all came to a screeching halt last night in beautiful Southern California when we all looked up from our  geotagged, Los Angeles flip-flops, and saw something coasting across our nighttime skies.

Was it an alien? Stop it.

Many thought so. You’re nuts. So did my neighbor, with a comment so matter-of-factly, “Well, I guess they’re here. We can all stop pondering the ‘are they/aren’t they’ quandary.”

You tell ’em, kiddo. Your neighbor’s nuts too.

Was it Santa? Cut it out.

Dammit… That be quaint; but I’m pretty sure he’s a couple days early yet.

Was it a hot air balloon with my picture on it? You can do that, you know.

Of course you thought that…. Uh, definitely, ah-no. 

Alright, alright. It was SpaceX at Vandenburg AFB, launching ten Iridium NEXT satellites, into orbit with the Falcon 9 rocket. And boy, was it a fascinating sight! Finally, she gets to it.

As long as it wasn’t messing with Santa’s visit this year, I’m okay with it.

Dear Santa,pexels-photo-260498.jpeg

This year I just want to ride an elephant again, in those sparkly tank tops I asked you for… Thanks so much! I love you!



Now, how the heck am I going to start making this sweater?

I’ve got the wine, so I guess I’ll start there and enter the giveaway. Oh wait, I can’t enter it because I’m hosting it with goodreads! Duh!

But, anyway YOU guys (and gals) can enter though…

Does anyone else hear angels singing?

It might be the vino sweater kicking in.