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Someday I Hope My Daughter Is This Awesome

6 Nov

I know Halloween is so yesterday’s news, but I couldn’t resist posting this little cutie. According to her dad, the conversation went like this:

Dad: What do you want to be for Halloween honey?

Most Awesome Daughter Ever: I want to be Darth Vader… but PINK!

One mask, a sewing lesson, and some pink spray paint later….

I give you Princess Vader!!!


New Years Resolutions

14 Jan

Ok so I’m a little late on this one, but I like to think I just wanted to really think about what I want to accomplish this year… Here’s my little list:


Catch Up on Scrapbooking: I started scrapbooking, and I got through most of my junior year (of high school… yikes). My goal is that by the time 2011 comes to a close, I will be working on my 2011 scrapbook!


Save Money: Hopefully I’ll be in the position to start putting some money away this year. Even if it’s just keeping my Savings Account a little fuller, that’s a start!


Work Out Twice Per Week: I know I don’t have the discipline to work out everyday. I’m setting my bar a little low on this one on purpose. If I can stick to it, I’ll amp it up next year!


No More Pets!: I have enough mouths to feed. Let’s keep my crazy cat lady alter ego at bay, and even more important, my inner crazy zookeeper lady alter ego.


Get out of MKE at least six times this year: Even if it’s just a trip to Chicago or something. I just want to start seeing the world!


My very best friend will be leaving me for Grad School this year. Therefore I will try to see Mr. Brennan Patrick O’Lena as often as possible (without making my actual boyfriend jealous of course).

Happy Birthday to Me! 23 For 23!

10 Jan

Alright so technically my birthday isn’t for another 12 days (January 22!), but I wanted to post my birthday wish list now. I suppose one nice thing about a January birthday is that it bats clean up for all the presents Santa forgot to bring… K so here it goes, my 23 present possibilities for my 23rd birthday!!!

1. 500 Days of Summer on DVD

2. Red Honda CRV

3. Adobe Creative Suite 5 Software

4. My Blueberry Nights on DVD

5. Tickets to see Kenny Chesney at Lambeau Field in June

6. Clay Matthews or Greg Jennings Jersey Adult S

7. Christian Louboutin Tahiti Heels Size 7.5

8. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

9. Ryan Braun Jersey Adult S

10. Romeo and Juliet on DVD

11. Michael Pollan Books: In Defense of Food and An Omnivores Dilemma

12. Shutter Island on DVD

13. Whip It on DVD

14. Inception on DVD

15. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

16. Gangs of New York on DVD

17. Smart Phone: Samsung Galaxy or iPhone 4

18. Headphones (Not earbuds, the ones that cover your whole ear)

19. A New Apron (The cuter the better. They have some for cheap at TJ Maxx)

20. Earmuffs

21. New Hot Rollers

22. A Cruise- Somewhere warm please!

23. Packers Win the Super Bowl

Recap of 2010 Through Google

28 Dec

Now that Christmas is over, our attention must quickly turn to New Years celebrations! Now is the time for the obligatory “Best of…” lists and recaps!

Here is a pretty good one, the Google Zeitgeist

Zeitgeist: “the spirit of the times” or “the spirit of the age.” The general cultural, intellectual, ethical, spiritual, and/or political climate within a nation or even specific groups, along with the general ambiance, morals, sociocultural direction, and mood associated with an era.

I’m really digging the song too! It’s One Republic’s “Good Life”

My Grown Up (ish) Christmas List Part 5!

25 Dec

And now the grand finale!


New Headphones

My old pair of ear-buds is dirty and old and somewhat broken. Sooo my final personal request for Christmas day is a brand spankin new pair of headphones. Not ear-buds (those don’t fit in my tiny elf ears) but legit headphones that cover my ears like earmuffs and completely engulf me in my musical world.


World Peace

Ah the wish of all wishes. Why can’t we all just get along? If only this one thing could happen, I feel that the rest of my list would be irrelevant and unnecessary.


My Grown Up (ish) Christmas List Part 4

23 Dec

We’re almost done! Here’s the second-to-last installment of my epic list for Ole St. Nick!


A Smart Phone

I’m am a social-media savvy, app lovin, texting mean green machine. It’s time I have the phone to match! I’m intrigued mostly by iPhones and Android phones. I’m also partial to Samsung brand phones, so if Santa goes the Android route, I’m hoping for the Captivate.


Tickets to See Beauty and the Beast

I missed it the last two times it was in town and while it was on Broadway. Now the show is back on the road and coming to the Milwaukee Theater from April 15-17! Tickets are available now through the Milwaukee Theater Box Office and


Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

I heard about this book before the movie came out and somehow never read it. Well now I think it’s time to see what all the hype is about!


Phantom of the Opera

Leonidas sings and Emmy Rossum has the voice of an angel in this awesome musical movie. Its the only musical I’ve seen live on Broadway, so I’m particularly attached to it and its music. This DVD was on my Christmas list last year, but St. Nick missed it… or maybe Krampus stole it.


Whip It

I told you I’m a movie freak. And this one is particularly awesome. Ellen Page is probably one of my favorite young actresses and I’ve been very tempted to go as a Hurl Scout for Halloween the past two years. This movie, which was Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, would make me one very happy elf on the 25th!


Michael Pollan’s Books

I have been following Michael Pollan and the local/organic food movement for about a year now (ever since I saw Food Inc.), but strangely I haven’t read his books. Help me out Big Guy in Red!


Lost Season 6

Hopefully watching the whole thing from the very beginning will give me some kind of insight into what the f*&^ happened. Or I can continue being frustrated and confused and obsessed. Whatever. As long as I get to see Sawyer and Desmond and Kate (chick crush!) I’m cool with it.

Only two days left! I should probably finish shopping and wrap some gifts or something huh? I also should figure out what I’m cooking… and wearing… oh I love the holidays!

Holiday Traditions that Make You Go WTF

22 Dec

I recently wrote about Holiday traditions I’d like to start traditionalizing (Mama Palin would be super proud of that one!). So the natural foil to such a post would be Holiday traditions that are of the non-traditional sort. I tried to organize these based on severity of disturbation (that’s two!) by the way…

Spider Webs as Christmas Decorations

In Ukraine, sparkly spider webs are often used to decorate Christmas Trees. Do Ukrainians just confuse Halloween and Christmas? Nope. According to the fairy tale, once upon a time there was a sweet Ukrainian family that was too poor to afford decorations for their Christmas tree. So on Christmas Eve some spiders took the liberty of decorating their tree for them while they slept! Alas our first strange holiday tradition is born!

KFC in Japan

Traditional Christmas dinner among millions of Japanese—most of whom are not Christian—is not turkey or ham, but a bucket of KFC. This offbeat custom is the legacy of a 40-year-old marketing campaign wherein the fast-food chain successfully convinced would-be Japanese customers that fried chicken is the traditional American yuletide feast.


Festivus is a secular non-commercialized holiday celebrated on December 23 brought into mainstream culture via the classic television show Seinfeld. The holiday has gained in popularity, as have the rituals associated with it. These include the Festivus Pole, the Airing of Grievances, the Feats of Strength, and Festivus Miracles. For specifics visit the most trusted name in news- Wikipedia.

Wisconsin has particularly strong ties to the holiday, for god knows what reason. In 2005, Governor Jim Doyle was declared “Governor Festivus” and during the holiday season displayed a Festivus Pole in the family room of the Executive Residence in Madison. Then in 2007, a Green Bay resident successfully petitioned the city to display a Festivus Pole next to the Nativity Scene in front of City Hall. That same year, the first Festivus Pole Lot  opened in Milwaukee. We Wisconsinites sure love our Seinfeld! or atheism! or something!

Brazilian Christ Kidnapping

In Brazil, they tell the Nativity story a little differently. First off- there are no shepherds, just shapely shepherdesses (insert wolf whistle). Secondly- the manger animals talk. And lastly (and most importantly!) after the Christ Child is birthed into the world, he is kidnapped by a renegade gypsy and the three wise men have to rescue him!!! I desperately searched for more info on this, but came up mostly empty handed… what an epic third act that would be huh??


Consoada is a traditional holiday dinner on Christmas Eve in Portugal that honors dead friends and relatives who can no longer join in holiday reveling. Typically you leave an empty chair at the table for the alminhas a penar (“souls of the dead”) who may be present at the feast. Leftovers remain on the table overnight for hungry ghosts who might drop in later. I can’t decide if this is mostly gross or mostly creepy…


I first read of Krampus (essentially St. Nick’s evil twin) a few weeks ago, and I was too disturbed to post. The demon like creature, native to Austria and Hungary, warns and punishes bad children. On the eve of December 5th, Krampus roams the streets frightening children with rusty chains and bells. He also carries a basket so he can pick up particularly bad children and haul them to hell (HOLY CRAP!!!). “Jennifer Marie- behave or you are going to hell with the Krampus demon” would have been decidedly more effective at keeping me in line than “Jennifer Marie- behave or you will be getting a lump of coal.”

Of course now counter-culture has embraced the demon and now you can attend Krampusnacht parties and Krampus Runs, during which rowdy revelers cavort through town in beastly costumes. Sounds like a party to me!

Zwarte Piet

According to Netherlandian lore, Zwarte Piet, or “Black Pete,” was Santa’s black African or Moorish slave. In addition to helping St. Nick distribute gifts, Pete was given the dubious task of abducting naughty children and whisking them off to Spain, which the Dutch apparently thought was just as bad as hell. To make matters as politically incorrect as possible- the person who plays the Z-Man appears in black face. this. is. tragic.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Holiday Traditions

21 Dec

Holiday traditions are an interesting thing. Christmas music and egg nog while decorating the tree and the infamous Santa Party are always staples in my family. And this year I was introduced to a new holiday tradition- Christmas cookie baking! While these are all great, I can’t help but feel that my holiday cheer was a little “weak sauce” this year. Sooo here is a short list of traditions I would like to start doing (probably not this year, but hopefully next year for sure!):

1) Christmas Eve Pajamas

I’ve heard about this one from a number of friends. Legend says that on Christmas Eve, everyone gets a new pair of PJ’s that they then wear to bed that night and during the early morning festivities on Christmas morning.

2) Build a Gingerbread House

I did this one year and it was great fun! I’m not sure why this one didn’t continue, as it has all kinds of potential… I’m thinking maybe a friendly competition among friends? Or maybe building gingerbread replicas of a famous building?

3) Go see a Christmas Show

I haven’t been to the Nutcracker in ages, and years ago my family would go see the Christmas Carol or the Rockette’s Christmas Show. This is something that definitely needs to be brought back, and we could rotate shows from year to year to keep it exciting!

4) Ice Skating at Red Arrow Park

Yes I know I can do this after the Holiday season, but there’s just something about ice skating in the snow with that big tree all decorated and an aura of holiday anticipation filling the air

5) The SMHS Christmas Feaste

This may seem like it would fit under the “Holiday Show” tradition but it soooo does not. The Feaste is in a league of its own and I am ashamed to admit I haven’t attended since I stopped participating in the show myself. I am resolved to attend next year for sure!

6) Christmas movies

I’m talking about Rudolf and Frosty and A Christmas Story. I haven’t seen any this year (let alone, my all time favorite- A Year Without A Santa Claus. Love them Meiser brothers!)

7) Personalized Christmas card

Now that I have a little family of my own (I’ve fully embraced my cat lady identity at this point) I think next year I’ll do a card. I love receiving them in the mail, and printing them is really inexpensive now!

So Mango readers- what are your favorite holiday traditions? Do you have a suggestion for my list?

My Grown Up (ish) Christmas List Part 3

16 Dec

Classes are finished and so it is time to blog once again! I only have one actual final and it isn’t until next Wednesday, so  I have time to kill (finally). So it’s been awhile- but here is continuation of the epic tale that is my Christmas Wish List for 2010:


Movies with Leo in Them

I love Leo. A Lot. I have previously blamed this on the fact Titanic came out when I was 10, and therefore have concluded that Leo love has just been absorbed into my DNA (I think that’s how science works right?). Anyways I don’t own these four Leo love-fests, but I would like to and I’m positive any of them would look grand under my Christmas tree. And then I can place them in the “Leo” section of my DVDs with Blood Diamond, The Departed, and Catch Me if you Can.


Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Like Wicked, this is a book I’ve read several times, but just want a copy of my own. It’s a sweet love story of forbidden love and how the pressures of an oppressive family and culture attempt to keep the two lovers apart. It’s sort of written in Spanglish at times, and I love how recipes are integrated with the story. For literary buffs, this is a primo example of Mexican literature’s magical realism.


A Stand Mixer

Everyone knows I love to cook and bake. I inherited an old hand mixer, but would really like a fancy stand mixer all for myself! (Like the coffeemaker, there will be bonus points to gift givers who provide my kitchen with color!)


A Nice Suit

Mama’s gotta go out and get herself a big girl job. And in order to do that, I’ve gotta be lookin all fly and professional! A nice pants and jacket (optional skirt?) combo would do the trick…


Tahiti Heels by Christian Louboutin

Mr. CL designed them for a princess somewhere. This makes them all-the-more fitting for me.


A Ryan Braun Jersey

I do not own a Brewers jersey. This is probably some kind of sin that the Brew Town gods will punish me for eventually, but if you could save my MKE soul and have this for me under the tree that would be spectacular! Of course I’d like a Braun jersey because he’s sexxy and badass and a purdy darn good ball player! (Retro style, Adult S please! Not a ladies version- Please see Packer jersey post…)


My Blueberry Nights

This fabulous movie was Norah Jones cinematic debut and also stars Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman. Great movie. Need to own. ASAP. Thanks.


Adobe Creative Suite 5

Or Creative Suite 4, whichever. I finally mastered these programs this semester, and would love to have them for future design needs. I can’t imagine designing any documents without them in the future, they are unparalleled in the software market (at least in my opinion).


500 Days of Summer

K so I know I’m asking for a lot of movies, but I love movies. A lot. If life would have gone a little differently, I would seriously have considered staying a film major and becoming a cinematographer. Anyways- this may be one of my favorite movies of all time… yet I don’t own it. Let’s change that Santa!

As I said before, classes are finally done, so hopefully I’ll be returning with more regular posts and content ASAP. Regards-


My Grown Up (ish) Christmas List Part 2!

7 Dec

Here’s the continuation of my wishes for the 25th!


A Clay Matthews or Greg Jennings Jersey

I’m due for a new Packer jersey! And I love these two guys… Please just a regular adult small jersey though. Those ones that are “made for women” really should be called “made for women who have the body type of Tom Brady’s wife”.  Not cool.


Wicked by Gregory Maguire

One of my favorite Christmas gifts to ask for ever since I was little is a new book. For some reason I don’t buy books for myself, but I love getting them as gifts! I’ve already read (and seen!) Wicked, but it’s one of those books I could read a million times and I’d just like to own a copy. If you want to throw in the sequel, Son of a Witch, I wouldn’t complain 🙂


Tickets for the Kenny Chesney Concert @ Lambeau

Mmm Mmm Mmm

This show is going to be awesome! And it will be the first concert at the newly renovated Lambeau. Tickets go on sale December 11th for the June 11th show which features Zac Brown Band (whoo hoo!) as the opening act! Uncle Kracker and Billy Currington are also part of the tour.

*BONUS* St. Nicks Stocking Stuffers!

#1 SOCKS– Everyone always needs new socks… Or maybe just I do!#2 COFFEE MUGS– Another thing you can never have too many of!#3 CHOCOLATE– I’m a woman. This should go without saying#4 GIFT CARDS– Most wanted: Forever 21 and IKEA, Most practical: Speedway and Pick’n’Save


An iPad Case

I took care of the expensive part! Now I just need a proper case that also doubles as a stand so that when I watch videos and movies I don’t have to hold the silly thing up or prop it against something.

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas…

6 Dec

in my apartment! and on my blog!!!

I have a tiny apartment, so I can’t do a ton of decorating. But here’s what I’ve done with what I’ve got!

Christmas Tree #1

Christmas Tree #2- aka Ian the Ficus

Christmas Tree #3

I had some old ribbon laying around... Now it's decorating my doorknobs!

My Grown Up (ish) Christmas List!

3 Dec

I’ve missed a few days, but I’m turning my blog into a wishlist of sorts. Each day I will post a new thing I desire to see under the tree on December 25 (these will range in their realisticality. haha that’s definitely a Sarah Palin word! Anyways…)

So here are my gifts for December 1-3!


Beauty and the Beast Diamond Edition DVD

This is kinda a no brainer gift. It’s the first time BnB has been available on DVD for awhile, and I no longer have a VHS player to play the VHS version I own. It’s my favorite Disney movie: 1) Belle is my favorite princess and the one I relate to most! 2) It’s from Disney’s animation heyday (none of this computer drawn nonsense!)  3) It was the first animated film nominated for an Academy Award and 4) my cats are named after the characters for cripes sake!


A Programmable Coffee Maker

If you know me at all, you know I’m a not a morning person. If you know me a little bit better, you know that I have slightly mild, not-that-big-of-a-deal, totally moderate addiction to caffeine. And by that I mean I will fall asleep at 9P.M. after I’ve taken a 3 hour afternoon nap if I didn’t drink my java in the A.M. I have had my trusty Mr. Coffee $15 coffee maker for about four years now, and it’s served me well, however it has recently been recruited as our office coffee maker, and therefore nights and weekends have become a little sleepy for me.  Therefore I am requesting a replacement (with a slight upgrade). A programmable coffeemaker, so that I can wake up to already-made fresh coffee, is my hearts desire! (One in a cute color gets you bonus points!)


A Honda CRV or Hybrid Toyota Highlander

I've got a crush on you Mr. CRV

You guys knew I had to put a fun one in right away. Well my little Neon is on it’s way to the great Neon farm in the sky, and between my experience with my Concorde and my Neon and hearing feedback from others, I’m soooo done with American made cars. I also really want a little SUV to zoom around in. Therefore I’ve had a crush on the Honda CRV for quite awhile now. But my green girl side is screaming at me, so that’s why I’d accept the Hybrid Toyota Highlander as well. Oh but it has to be red. Cuz that’s how I do.

But Mr. Highlander appeals to my green side. What's a girl to do?

Until tomorrow gift givers! ermm I mean beloved readers and friends!!!


Friends Thanksgiving Episode Highlights!

25 Nov

The Thanksgiving episodes of Friends were some of the best… Here are some of the highlights!

Five Holiday Cocktails

25 Nov

I’m lacking in Thanksgiving-inspired content, so I’m shamelessly borrowing two holiday posts from Apartment Therapy.

Follow this link for yummy holiday cocktails you can mix up to get you through the day…

This is Not a Christmas Post

18 Nov


FUN FACT TIME: NYC’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree this year is 74 feet high, weighs 12 tons, and is from Norway a Norway Spruce. (My co-workers and I decided it would be a much better story if the tree actually came from Norway. What kind of magic would they have to use to get it here? A plane wouldn’t be able to get off the ground, and the tree would be dead by the time they’d boat it over here. People would puzzle over the tree magic for ages!)

Anyways… the actually back story is kinda cool too I guess. The tree comes from Mahopac, NY and was donated by a 12 year FDNY veteran who was a first responder on 9/11 and his family.

Now to decorate! The official tree lighting takes place on November 30 (well after Thanksgiving, as God intended!)

New Segment: Things I Plan to Do When I Graduate!

9 Nov

The most wonderful of wonderful days is upon us! On December 19th I will graduate from UWM and will ideally have a job (cross those fingers Mango readers!) and therefore will ideally have some spare time to do all the things I couldn’t do while i was doing homework procrastinating so I didn’t have to do homework.

So to keep myself motivated- I’ve begun this weekly (maybe more often…) installment of The Mango Tree to pump me up for all the awesome things I’ll get to do with my awesome free time!

First up- sewing! I used to sew in middle school and early in high school, and I found this super easy DIY for throw blankets (holiday gifts perhaps?).

Let the countdown begin!!!


Gamer Ornaments

2 Nov

Sorry if it’s too early for a holiday season post. But these were too cool not to share…

Top Ten Favorite Halloween Songs

31 Oct

Halloween is a great holiday with some great music. Here are my favs:

#10 Devil in Disguise

There’s nothing like the king… And it’s also used in a cute commercial

Continue reading

An Ode to my Favorite Halloween Candy

31 Oct

Bottlecaps have been my absolute favorite candy since I was a little girl. Most people think they’re gross, but I can’t get enough of ’em. So because it is Halloween, I decided to honor my fav sweet treat by doing a little research into it’s story and background:

Bottle Caps are tart candies made to look like metal soda bottle caps in grape, cola, orange, root beer, and cherry flavors. They are sold by Nestlé under their Willy Wonka Candy Company brand.

Bottle Caps have a sweet but slightly sour taste to them, not wholly dissimilar toSmarties, Sweet Tarts, or Runts, but with soda flavors and altered shapes. Bottle Caps come in purple packages containing approximately 10 pieces. They also can be purchased in a box containing 48 packages, or in small individually wrapped pouches of two candies, which can be given out as Halloween treats in the U.S. They may also come in a box with 6 oz of the candies.

In the past, Bottle Caps contained a lemon-lime flavor instead of the current cherry flavor. There was also a time when Willy Wonka Co. made Fizzy Bottle Caps. These were like the original but contained ingredients to make them fizz when eaten.

I don’t know who pulled the plug on the lemon lime and fizzy versions, but they should be fired immediately. Both of those things sound awesome!

Now the best part of my research is that I found out that the world has combined my fav candy with something else that I love…. booze!!! Yes that’s right- there’s a bottle cap shot and here for your imbibing pleasure is the recipe:

Qty. Ingredients
1/2 oz. Rootbeer Schnapps
1/2 oz. Raspberry Sourpuss or Amaretto
1 oz. Bar Lime Juice
1 oz. Sprite or 7Up

Glass type: Shot

Directions: This is a drop shot shooter. In a shooter glass fill 1/2 with rootbeer schnapps and 1/2 with raspberry sourpuss or amaretto. In a tall highball glass add lime and sprite. Add the shot inside of the highball and drink up.

So I’m not sure how well known this shot is, but I’m definitely going to ask for one the next time I’m out! Yay for combining childhood and adulthood pastimes into deliciousness!!!

So Mango readers, what’s your favorite Halloween candy? or shot? haha

Halloween Dinner: Mummy Meatloaf

19 Oct

If I didn’t have so many cat-allergic friends, I would host a grand Halloween Party just like Heidi Klum!!!

and this would be the main course:

Ahhh!! Scary!!!

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