I Survived Holly Days 2014

I paid $16 for the privilege of walking into a convention center to shop for cute, expensive gifts. Many were handmade and worth the price. Others seemed less reasonable. The ticket price was $11, but I also had to pay $5 for parking. Kind of ridiculous all around.

It's "for a good cause," whatever that cause is. The Junior League does outreach in the community, so spending money to go isn't something I feel bad about (although the parking fee just goes to that garage).

I carried Jane around on my back in the Ergo, since strollers were not allowed. (And a good thing too. It was crowded enough without the addition of strollers.) We made a loop, methodically, around the outside and then zigzagging in and out of the shorter aisles and middle aisle. There wasn't a clear flow to the aisles, so there were always people going both ways and clumps of people stopping to chat "Oh hi, I haven't seen you in forever."

(No surprise: I didn't see ANYONE I knew.)

I bought about five Christmas presents -- I had to feel like I was getting my entry fee money's worth. Just before we left Jane got down from my back to try out these expensive horse toys. They were more than $200, and the sales guy was weird about which ponies were for demonstration. I did not like him -- or the toy -- at all, but we'd walked past it and she'd asked to play on them. It was a small reward for not crying and bucking while riding on "mama horse" through the shops.

All together we were only there for a bit more than an hour. I could have spent more time methodically going through each shop and looking at pieces individually. There was a lot of great jewelry, although it's such a personal item it's hard to buy something like that for other people. (Hey, I have a birthday coming up though!) I couldn't last much longer than an hour with the 35 extra pounds on my back. And once she was down it would have been a matter of time before she wandered off -- or pulled my arm out of the socket by going limp/dragging me down.

Ideally I would go to a thing like that alone, with headphones, to shop in stealth, leave-me-alone mode, which is much more efficient although anti-social. I don't think I'll ever go to the Holly Days again, unless someone had free tickets or otherwise invited me specifically. But it was worth it to see what it was all about this once.

I didn't find out how much the booth rental was, although if I ever got serious about my crochet hats that would be an obvious place to sell. (I saw two booths that had crochet hats, but they were afterthoughts/not the main thing being sold and didn't have much selection -- they were also MUCH more expensive than mine.)

An idea for an entrepreneurial junior junior leaguer -- a child care service like they have at Ikea -- just a room or area where parents could drop off their kids and shop, for a charge of course. Could offer activities and crafts, games, etc. I definitely would have been down for using a service like that (at least in theory). It's probably a nightmare legally though.

Carry on.


We went to the Denham Springs Fall Festival yesterday, and it was a very good time. There were arts and crafts, kiddie rides and loads of antique stores.

Jane's favorite thing was the face painting. In that same Daniel Tiger episode some real life kids got their faces painted to look like the DT characters. When I saw that they had a face painting booth I didn't hesitate, because Jane had been asking to have her face painted since we watched the show.

Putting toxic chemicals on her skin is never a good idea (I didn't even ask what the paint was made of), but I really did a bad thing because there was GLITTER in the paint (either that or the lady added the glitter afterward). Jane became the cutest tiger ever (chosen by the face painting lady because Jane was wearing her tiger crochet hat), and the paint itself came off easily when we got home (I was smart enough to not let her lay in her bed with a full face of paint). But even after a shower we still have glitter on her face and in her hair, and even after vacuuming the car her car seat is still sporting sparkles.

Is this my life now?!

Next time, and there will be a next time, I'll pay closer attention (rather than taking pictures of the painter at work!) and specifically ask for no glitter before the painting begins. I'll also be sure there's no paint near her mouth -- the bit on her nose migrated to her lips somehow and it was quite a mess. Who knows how much she ingested. I'm so careful about what she eats, but I didn't think about this getting in her mouth.

Rookie mistakes all around. I hope we can get the glitter out of the car with a lint roller and/or tape. Any other ideas? I'm so worried about some getting in her eye and scratching it somehow. So far it hasn't, but I'm always worrying about the worse case.

Dress Up Day

On an episode of Daniel Tiger that Jane and I watched (on Amazon Prime) today the characters all dressed up and had a parade. They knocked on people's doors to show off their costumes, and instead of candy they got stickers for their sticker books. What a wonderful idea -- I'd love for that to be the m.o. for our church's trunk-or-treat. I'm not sure how I'm going to keep Jane from eating the crap she'll collect.

I'm trying to decide what we'll hand out from our "trunk." Last year I bought a bunch of things that were non-candy -- vampire teeth, some bracelets, bouncy balls, etc. I've got a cart ready for checkout at Oriental Trading just ready to hit "purchase."

But there's part of me -- the CHEAP part off me -- that realizes how much less expensive it would be to pick up a couple bags of value candy at Walmart or Winn Dixie and call it a night. (My shipping alone is $10. GAH.) I wouldn't let Jane eat any of it, but other people's kids are going to eat it anyway, so why should I shell out more money? And I'm still buying CRAP that's just different crap (and won't harm their bodies ... well, as long as they don't ingest it).

Yeah, I just placed my order... Junky toys for everyone!

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