Friday, December 28, 2012

Crafty Schmafty - Ice Cream Box

I'm a big fan of making things that bring family and friends together for fun times. I recently made my nephews an ice cream box. My nephews live about 4.5 hours away from me so I don't get to see them as much as I would like. Right before Christmas I found an idea on Pinterest to send them a treat in a box.

It started out with a shoe box, well a bigger than normal shoe box:

I lined it with tissue paper to make it pretty, but also to hold all the bubble wrap in it for shipping:

To add some homely touches to it, I poured the toppings (pineapple and hot fudge) into jelly mason jars: 

I crushed up butter fingers and put them in a baggie:

I crushed up cookies and put them in a baggie: ** note** I used cheap oreos, don't do this... they were not nearly as good as the real thing**

I bought a box of nerds and added them to a baggie.... because really, what kid doesn't like Nerds?

I then added it all to my box and wrote personal sentiments on the inside and outside of the package. I also added sugar waffle bowls, and a package of cones. All they had to do was add ice cream. 

2 small Mason jars
3 snack size baggies
1 shoe box

1 jar of hot fudge
1 jar of pineapple topping
1 package of 5 sugar waffle bowls
1 package of 5 cones
6 Oreo cookies
6 bite size Butter Fingers
1 medium size box of Nerds

Just add ice cream and enjoy!

Miss Amanda Hugnkiss

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness

“There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.”
~ Dalai Lama

We can’t live in this world and watch our fellow humans and animals struggle without trying to help them… or at least I can’t. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people in need, or to just be kind to people and animals. A kind word or a kind deed can be the one small act that a person needs to help them through their own personal battle. Please practice random acts of kindness to strangers and the people that you cherish all year long, not just during the holiday season. You might be the only bright light in their life at the moment. If you need some ideas, here is a list of things to start with:

  •  Buy a homeless person lunch… or shoes, or a warm jacket, or coffee, whatever you can afford

  •  Leave a $1 on a vending machine with a note saying “this snacks on me”

  •  Donate snacks/toys/play time to your local animal shelter

  •  Leave a hand written note in someone’s mailbox telling them to have a great day or that you think they are awesome.

  •  Pay for someone’s gas at the gas pump if they need assistance

  •  Smile and say hello to strangers

  •  Send a friend a letter via snail mail with kind words and encouragement

  •  Donate your time to organizations like the Arctic League that go out into the community and provide for people in need

  •  Be brave and speak up against hate and intolerance

  •  Adopt an abandoned animal… Welcome to Amanda’s zoo:  2 dogs, 1 cat, 3 birds, 19 fish

  •  Visit with your elderly neighbors and talk with them, help them with chores

  •  Compliment a stranger

  •  Every time you go to the grocery store, pick up a couple extra items to donate to the food bank

  •  Pick up trash when you see it, even if it isn’t yours.

  •  Open the door for a stranger, and let them walk in first

  •  Say thank you to the janitor that empties your trash can at work

  •  Talk to someone who looks lonely

  •  Feed the stray cats in your neighborhood… capture them and have them fixed if you can afford it to help reduce the numbers of homeless animals. Many vets will offer you a deal on this.

  •  Be kind to the earth: turn off lights, take shorter showers, ride your bike more, don’t waste food, recycle etc.

  •  Share your umbrella in the rain with a stranger

  •  Eat locally at restaurants that are not chains

  •  Collect coats to donate

  • Distribute hand warmers and wool socks to the homeless in January/February/March when the  need is still there but the holiday season is over and people are stingy again

  •  Practice random acts of kindness anonymously so that we can help to restore faith in humanity. By doing it anonymously it shows people that you are doing it to be kind, not for recognition.

The media will have us believe that we live in an increasingly violent and cruel world (to boost ratings, increase fear, etc.) but I’d like to believe that the human race is not as violent and evil as they would have us believe. The media for some reason just tends to focus on the negative rather than the positive.

Choose kindness. Be kind to everyone, not just the people you think “deserve” it. Everyone deserves to be treated equally, with kindness, respect, and compassion.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Why Does Everything Have to Have a Title?

Hello kiddos, I hope all is well during this holiday season with you all... all 110 readers that I have and cherish. 

I was reading the news yesterday about the school shooting that happened recently in Connecticut and I couldn't help but sit and say to myself... "These damn kids today...." I never thought I would be old enough to say that, nor that I would ever have the need to say it; unfortunately, kids today are so different from when I was a child. When I was a kid, I remember playing outside until dark and never worrying about getting shot, being offered drugs, being snatched up, run down, or stabbed by a stranger. These were not things that affected the small town that I grew up in, yet they do now... just like many other small towns across America.I can't help but sit and wonder what is so different now as compared to 20 years ago.

So have you all seen those stickers that children get at school that say "My child is a shining star at [insert school here] elementary school!?" Or children who play sports and lose a match or game, and are never told they are losers? I can't help but sit and think that this has contributed to the sense of entitlement that younger people tend to have now. 

When I was a child and I didn't make the honor roll, I did not get a sticker and my mother didn't praise me. She told me to try harder, that I can't be expected to be praised for being average. When I lost a match playing Varsity tennis, I was not coddled and told I was still a winner. I wasn't a winner, I was a loser and I was told to try harder. I was told that I can do anything that I want to do with enough work and sacrifice... and thankfully for me, I was very poor growing up so everything I had I saw the sacrifice and work that went into getting it. I knew the sacrifice that went into getting new school clothes for my siblings and I when I was in 7th grade... some men are vile creatures when there is an attractive woman in front of them that needs money for her and her children to survive.

How this relates to the shootings in Connecticut is because I was reading this article about the shooter and his life. Everyone is trying to figure out why he did it, and what was wrong in his childhood that would have made him do such an atrocious act. He grew up in a well-to-do family, with everything he wanted, in a good school district. When he had an "episode" at school, his mother would come coddle him, settle him down, and make him feel better... apparently she was the only one who was able to "soothe" him during these "episodes". When I had an "episode" at school, my mother whooped my ass and told me I had better get my shit straight.

Our society wants to ask why he did it, attempting to blame it on various things associated with his upbringing or his mental state. How about the fact that this kid was just an asshole? He was a rotten, spoiled, evil little shit, that decided he wanted to kill someone to see what it was like? I firmly believe that this is why our society is so fascinated with people like Andrea Yates, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Charles Manson. People who have done terrible things and lived to tell the public that they just didn't want to be a mother anymore, or they just didn't like someone so they wanted to kill them. We want to explain away and make excuses for people and their asshole tendencies when really it comes down to a sense of entitlement that these people have. They don't have to answer to anyone but themselves.

People want to blame it on god no longer being in schools, and say that as we move more toward a secular society that is why it is falling apart. I hate to bust this theory up, but I am an Atheist. I do not believe in a god, nor any higher being and I do not act like an asshole to anyone. I do not need the threat of eternal hell fire burning my soul up to give me a moral compass. I have myself to answer to and I would never do to someone else what I would not want done to me. People are calling for stricter gun laws now.... again, that is bullshit. If someone wants to kill another person, they are going to kill them with whatever means they can get their hands on. So we take away guns? Great, they will use a machete, or a knife next time. They want to blame the fact that his mother liked to shoot guns and took him with her to do so. Who the eff cares? I like to shoot guns... I know people who own full arsenals that many small countries would be proud to own in their homes, and they are not shooting up children because they are not assholes.

He was called a "genius" by his peers because he had a 3.26 GPA at Western Connecticut State University. Are you fucking kidding me? That does not make you a genius, it makes you very very very average getting a 3.26 at a state university. He even once got an A in a computer class! Omfg, mediocrity is praised and celebrated among the masses these days. This kid was a selfish little bastard and there is no excuse for him shooting a bunch of random children. I don't care if his parents were divorced, and he was only given a BMW for his birthday instead of a Porsche. He was an asshole and I wish the little fucker would have lived through this tragic event so the media and society would stop making excuses for him, blaming his asshole behavior on his parents divorce and easy access to guns. His mother should have kept the "My child is a Shining Star at Sandy Hook Elementary School" sticker off their mini-van and made him try a little harder in life.