Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Boxing Day!

If you are like me- and I hope for your sake, you are not- then you don't really know what Boxing Day is. In the interest of full disclosure, for the longest time, I actually thought that Boxing Day had something to do with boxers...not the athletes, but the dogs. Yep, I'm that dumb.

Here's what Boxing Day really is:

Boxing Day is a secular holiday that is celebrated on the 26th of December- or the first weekday following Christmas, if Christmas falls on a Saturday and Boxing Day is on a Sunday, then it is actually celebrated the following Monday. Ugh, this is already confusing.

Boxing day was traditionally a day in which the wealthy in the United Kingdom would give their servants a boxed gift. Some would even get the day off. This was done, not entirely out of selflessness, but rather out of the wealthy's desire to make sure that their own Christmases ran smoothly by promising The Help, a much needed gift and day off.

The "boxes" in Boxing Day, usually contained a gift, cash, or in some very pathetic cases, the leftover food from Christmas dinner.

Today, Boxing Day is primarily celebrated in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a few other Commonwealths. Apparently, we celebrate it here in the US, but it is primarily for delivery personnel; according to wikipedia, US corporations give a bottle of scotch to their regular mail carriers and parcel deliverers. I have never heard of this before and I think it was added to wikipedia by a mail carrier who just drank and entire bottle of scotch.

Boxing Day is a huge shopping day, much like the US's Black Friday sales. For many merchants, it is their biggest revenue day of the year.

So, what are you waiting for? Go out and shop?

And here's some inspiration:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/74818568/boxing-resin-earrings-old-fashioned
And I'm currently having and After Xmas sale...or Boxing Day sale, if you will. Enter coupon code AFTER25 for 25% off your entire order. Good through Sunday, 1/1/12.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Tis the Season...."

Today is December 22. We are 2 days into Hanukkah and 3 days away from Christmas. And, here in Colorado Springs, we got hit by a huge storm and I am snowed in.

So, I guess I have nothing left to do but blog about the holidays.  The facts about the holidays. The good, the bad and the ugly.


  • The first company to offer an artificial Christmas tree was Sears and Roebuck in 1883. A 33 limbed tree would cost you 50 cents. A 50 limber would cost you $1. 
  • According to the National Christmas Tree Association (yep, that's a thing), for every Christmas tree sold, 3 seedlings are planted. I'm not sure if this is true and I'm not taking sides on the real vs. artificial debate...but I will say that it seems like a waste to cut down trees and have them slowly die in your house for a month. I will also refer you to this bit of brilliance by the comic Jim Gaffigan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJAxRVeKnTE
  • "Hanukkah," "Chanukah," "Chanukkah," and "Hanukah" are all acceptable ways to spell Hanukkah. I stick with that version because that is the way I learned to spell it in school. And like a stubborn old lady, I refuse to learn different ways of doing things.
  • Speaking of Hanukkah, it is not "Jewish Christmas" as politicians and departments store commercials would have you believe. It is historically older and has a totally different meaning and origin than Christmas. I don't have the time to go into the origin of Hanukkah, but if you want to know more about Hanukkah, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanukkah). 
  • Here's something interesting: Johnny Marks, a Jewish man, wrote the songs Rocking Around The Christmas Tree, A Holly Jolly Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and The Most Wonderful Day of the Year, to name a few.
  • Some stats: 1 out of 10 xmas gifts will be broken by New Years, 7 out of 10 dogs will get gifts, and 9 out of 10 years in a row my husband will get a Lowe's gift card from my parents; a store he absolutely despises....
  • Back in Victorian times, there was a Xmas game called "Hot Cookies." This was a game in which someone was blindfolded and other players took turns striking the blindfolded person. It was up to the blindfolded person to determine who delivered the blows....I've seen a great deal office Christmas parties end in this same manor.
  • Candy canes used to be just straight sticks of peppermint, but a choir master at a Cologne cathedral wanted to keep noisy children quiet, so he made some that were bent in the shape of a shepherds hook (so as not to be sacrilegious, I guess) and handed them out to the kiddos. The shape became popular and stuck.
  • Dreidel is a common game played during Hanukkah, but did you know that there are actually dreidel tournaments? Yep. Major League Dreidel or the MLD for short, founded in New York in 2007, hosts dreidel tournaments during Hanukkah. I believe this is a sport that I could actually watch and care about. 
  • So, Christmas is December 25...but you know what else is on Dec. 25? National Pumpkin Pie Day. And to be honest, I'd much rather celebrate that with the family...seems a lot cheaper with less risk of hurt feelings and awkward moments.
Well, there's some Christmas and Hanukkah facts for you. And here's an adorable little necklace. I picked this one because, when I was a kid, I always wanted to find a fluffy, white kitten under the tree. Instead I got leaky water bed. True story.



Friday, December 16, 2011

Hey, Who Are You Calling "Short and Stout?"

I'll be straight with you, I don't really have a good reason for today's blog post except that I really love the necklace that it relates to, so I am totally writing this post out of pure self-promotion....which isn't really different from most of my blog posts, but I usually try to disguise it a little better.

So, without further ado, bring on the shameless pandering:

Teapots!

  • The earliest teapots are thought to have originated in China; which makes sense. Also, early teapots were small because they were designed for a single drinker; the person would drink the tea directly from the spout. I dare you to try that the next time you go out to a Chinese restaurant.
  • In Europe, in the early days, tea-drinking was an activity reserved for the upper class because tea was crazy expensive. Also, porcelain tea pots were the Bentleys of tea pots. See, they couldn't, or rather, didn't know how to make porcelain at the time in Europe, so it had to be imported from China. 
  • An average of 4,000 people are injured by teapots every year. I was going to make fun of this statistic, but then I was reminded that I recently injured my left hand while trying to get brownies out of a pan.....
  • The Teapot Song (aka I'm a Little Teapot) was written by Clarence Kelley and George Sanders. Kelley ran a dance school for children and he wanted an easier way to teach children the Waltz Clog. Thus, The Teapot Song was written as an accompaniment and teaching tool. The song was published in 1939 and took off from there.
  • The Teapot Dome Scandal was a bribery incident that took place between 1922-1923. The scandal involved the leasing of petroleum reserves at Teapot Dome and the accepting of bribes from big oil companies...I drink your milkshake! Up until Watergate, The Teapot Dome Scandal was the biggest scandal in American politics.
So, do you fancy a spot of tea now? Or, do you fancy a necklace? Well, here you go:

And hey, guess what? There's still time to get this as a gift! Through Monday, 12/19, I will spring for free priority shipping so that it can get to your door by 12/25. And, you can get 15% off if you use coupon code HOLIDAY15 (good through 1/1/12). So, what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Ties That Bind....Corsets!

As a burlesque dancer, I hear a lot of people say "I'm corset trained," which always makes me giggle because it reminds me of saying "I'm potty trained." However, being "corset trained," one could argue, is much tougher than being potty trained...just not as socially crucial as being potty trained.

I am not corset trained. I am potty trained (thank you, very much). Corset training- also known as "tightlacing" takes a lot of dedication. One must wear a corset over extended periods of time, slowly tightening the corset laces until the ideal waist size is obtained. Those who know me, know that I do not have that kind of dedication. I can't even leave a headband on for more than an hour.

Of course, I'm also not going to start doing crunches either, so I guess I'm stuck with my current waist size.

But, you don't have to have your sights set on a 20 inch waist to wear a corset. Corsets are very flattering, sexy pieces of clothing that can be worn by everyone, not just burlesque dancers. I promise.

Here's the stats on corsets:


  • The word "corset" comes from the Old French word "corps," which means "body."
  • While corsets are mainly worn by women, dudes have been known to wear them too. In fact, corsetry came into fashion for men in the early 1800's when a wasp waist was in fashion. Old-timey fashions...got to love them.
  • Corsets have medical purposes as well. Those with back problems or scoliosis ore even internal injuries are sometimes fitted for corsets so that they can protect the torso. After Andy Warhol was shot in 1968, he wore a corset for the rest of his life.  
  • In the 19th century, corset boning was made of elephant, moose, or whale bones. *Sad face*. Today, cheaper or costume corsets are made with plastic boning, while the more expensive "corset-training" ones are typically made with steel.  Although I have heard of some still made with whale bone. That makes me cranky.
  • The smallest waist achieved through corset training is 13 inches by Ethyl Granger, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Thirteen inches! Seriously, that's a little more than the circumference of a  Jameson bottle...just to put things into perspective...for people like me.
  • The invention of the corset has been mistakenly attributed to Catherine d'Medici when she allegedly banned women with thick waists from her court in the 1550's. Bitch! But, in actuality, the corset dates back as far as ancient Babylonia. 
  • In 2007, a corset designed by Dita Von Teese was auctioned off for $20,000. However, always the "one-upper," Madonna's Who's That Girl Tour corset was auctioned off this year for $72,000. Bloody hell!* *"bloody hell" was to be said in Madonna's lame fake British accent.
Not looking to spend $72,000 on corset related items? Have I got a deal for you: