Sometimes I wish I could just be rich, sit home, and make stuff all day long. And eat whatever I wanted and be magically thin.

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life78 Comments

Alittlewinter

Ah…just as fall begins to quietly head South, winter in Minnesota is slowly but surely creeping in. Just a wee dusting. So pretty on this fine November day. I do like winter. I have no problems with being cold. That is what down comforters and bourbon are for. (I’m joking! I don’t have a down comforter!)

It makes me want to take the day off (which I’m not going to do) and just make stuff. Like my ready to be filled December Daily album, which took me all of two nights to gather and create. Go me.

Decemberdaily

I primarily used stuff from Danelle Johnson’s Hollyberry, Mistletoe, and Noel collections, and tossed in some letter stickers for the days from both KI Memories and American Crafts from my overflowing stash. The cover is an acrylic cover and for the life of me, I can’t find the packaging. But, it’s around 4.5 x 6.5 in size. I’m looking forward to doing this project because the Christmas season is one of my least favorite times of year. I know, I know. What? Am I some kind of Scrooge? I guess just as far as the commercial aspect of the holiday goes. I’m doing some things this year to hopefully change some of the blueness I feel about that part of Christmas. I’ll let you know how it worked out.

Another thing I would love to just sit and work on today is the project from the Stories in Hand class I’m taking from Jessica Sprague.

Storiesinhand  

Last night, in the dim light of my "studio," I began cutting and assembling the pieces. One thing I can say: Jessica Sprague, you got it goin’ ON. If this is any indication of the thoroughness you get in other classes by her, I say run, don’t walk to her website to learn more.

But instead, today…I’ll get back to work. Right after I finish typing this little entry.

One thing,  however, that is already helping me prepare for the onslaught of the holiday BUY NOW messaging is this:

Cleansimple

No, it’s not my super-pain-in-the-ass-to-clean glass topped stove (really, why couldn’t those kitchen show people have talked me out of THAT one?) It’s that after I took this shot, I saw the colored pencils.

Those colored pencils were one of Cole’s Christmas gifts last year, and I kid you not: He has used them nearly every single day of his life for almost 11 months now. Every. Single. Day.

Those RoseArt pencils from Target cost me $9.99. Of all the things he got last year, this is the only one he goes to again, and again, and again. And what he does with this gift—creating his miniature illustrations of baseball stadiums, and scene re-enactments from Independence Day, or even just simple illustrated Christmas lists—is just one little gift after another.

No way to bah humbug that one.

Cathy ZielskeSometimes I wish I could just be rich, sit home, and make stuff all day long. And eat whatever I wanted and be magically thin.

78 Comments on “Sometimes I wish I could just be rich, sit home, and make stuff all day long. And eat whatever I wanted and be magically thin.”

  1. #1
    Sharon F.

    I too would love to resemble your title.
    Love the dusting of snow photo…wow what an incredible looking neighborhood. I too feel a mental health day coming on.

    Yes, I too am in Jessica’s class. Wow. I am also in your class and I must say I am loving all the learning at this moment.

    Yes, the buy now…yikes. I am holding off on this stuff. Am really trying to find what matters and go with that. I love how its really those little things that don’t cost alot but have huge rewards. When Cole is in his 40’s, he will remember back to his “illustration days” and those pencils he received for xmas one year and how important they were. He may feel that way now, but he will remember them fondly.

    thanks for the fun post today.

  2. #3
    kreativekate

    You had me at the title! I am so with you all the way. (Except my December Daily isn’t ready yet. This weekend).

  3. #4
    Rose

    Don’t you just love when you hit a gift that the kids just love and use over and over again? The fact that it’s a creative one is all the better.
    OHH Lord the stove. My DH keeps trying to talk me into one of those glass topped stoves. But I have friends who own them and tell me what a PIA they are to clean. I am SOO showing him this post! Thanks for the help Cathy!

  4. #5
    Melanie

    … and let’s not forget your DYL students scraping our hearts out in YOUR fab class … assembling our December Daily album (which I think I have done – I’m going to BIA it at the end – so it’s all printed & in a basket now) … AND printing & punching Jessica’s class.

    WHAT WAS I THINKING?

  5. #8
    Lauren

    Ah, the black glass-top stove. I have one, too. It is indeed a pain in the ass to clean. When we haven’t cooked on it for a few days (which is often) I simply dust it with a Swiffer sheet. There could be light at the end of our tunnels, tho’, as I recently saw a commercial for a Scotch Brite ‘kit’ thing for cleaning the glass tops.

  6. #9
    Amy

    Oh my gosh, you have described my perfect life!! I always tell people that I want to be a “stay at home-nothing”. 🙂

    Isn’t that Art Warehouse Christmas stuff awesome!! I LOVE IT!!

  7. #10
    cathy

    Lauren, DO NOT buy that thing. It’s a waste of money. Take it from me. I know. I bought one.

    The only thing that really gets is clean is that Weinmann’s polishing crap that is WAY hard to use as well. sigh.

    I want my old stove back.

  8. #11
    Deb

    BAH HUMBUG I join you in your displeasure in the season. Our kids are all 18 and over this year, and no grandkids yet so it will be easier for us, more cash in cards and less picking out and buying! I am hoping we will enjoy more of the “real” meaning of Christmas this year by spending some adult fun time together without the “i want i want” pressure. I was just talking about “snow days” yesterday with a co-worker. I’m looking forward to at least one this winter. One of the perks of living 20 miles away from work is being able to claim that the roads are too bad to drive in to work!!

  9. #12
    Abbie

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog & I’m very fond of Cole’s incredible drawings. I remember a post way back that had one of his illustrations…there were tiny little baseball players on the bottom of the page. I think they were lifting one of their teammates up and carrying him in the victory procession.
    I remember thinking it was absolutely adorable.

    Bravo on the colored pencils. Isn’t it nice when a gift turns out to be used so much.

  10. #14
    Candace H

    Loving Jessica’s SIH class too! Also love that Cole has used those colored pencils every day… so cool! They’d never admit it, but I think my kids’ favorite were the rolls of masking tape they each found in their stockings! Santa is so smart…

  11. #15
    Heidi

    What a great memory of Cole’s Christmas gift. 🙂 The fall is just arriving here in SC and the trees are turning colors so I am going to enjoy it until we have to put up the Christmas tree. LOL

  12. #16
    Lisa

    Good Morning—Everyday, I read your blog but today, I just had to comment, I am also taking the Jessica Sprague class and let me tell you…I am impresses and for a free class to have this many pretty things, I love it! I will be going back to her website again.

  13. #18
    Jennifer

    Snow?!? Yikes! If that is a dusting, come to GA and see how crazy people get when “that much” snow falls here. People are buying bread and milk at the store like it won’t melt the next day.

    I guess your picture confirmed for me that winter is in fact on its way (and quickly at that). Where has this year gone anyway?

  14. #19
    Julie

    Isn’t that great the way little gifts of insight creep up on you like that? How many times have those pencils been in your line of sight and you just passed them by? Very cool…

  15. #20
    Elaine

    That IS the bestest gift EVER! WOW!

    Hey – is that range a Profile model? If so, I won’t get it after hearing how hard it is to keep clean…I thought smooth glass top would be easier than digging things out of the burner holder indents…. so much for being rich and creative all the live long day!

  16. #21
    Shelly

    i think this year, more than in year’s past, we may all (okay, most of us anyway) will be looking to the true meaning of the season and keeping it more simple/meaningful.

    each year i am liking the holiday less and less – it’s all too much – the anticipation followed quickly by the disappointment. 🙁

    a couple of years ago i told my mother-in-law to buy my kids (age 7 at the time) tape – all types – of course she bought them something crazy that they like for all of two minutes – but to this day they love tape…especially the blue masking tape – to make ‘stuff’.

    it really is the simple things…

  17. #22
    janis

    puhleeeze show us some pages in your christmas everyday book! we would love to see them! Go Cathy!

    🙂

  18. #23
    PhotohappyCdn - Kelly

    Your heading has been my thought quite a bit lately too! I don’t mind a bit of resentment – after all I’m be home all comfy and cozy and won’t have to deal with it! 🙂

    Please keep the snow. I am not ready for it up here yet! LOL

    I am also taking Jessica’s SIH class and loving it. Between Ali’s & Stacy’s October projects and Jessica’s class, I will be kept busy for a while to come!(No time this year for the December Daily but I am almost finished last years!) Isn’t scrapbooking wonderful?

  19. #25
    Janette

    Cole obviously is following the Designer mother example with his use of the coloured pencils, even more value than giving a cardboard box to a toddler. JS SIH class is amazing I’m saving it for later when I’m not doing the super amazing CZ DYL.

  20. #26
    lah

    I also dislike Christmas. There is just so much pressure. I am going to try to simplify the year. Talk to me in January as to how it went.

  21. #27
    Mimi

    I’m going to get those pencils from Roseart! Are they on a stand of some sort? I haven’t seen those in the stores. Or, did you devise some sort of clever way to stand the pencils on end? Help! I need cheap grandchildren gifts!

  22. #28
    Heather S

    Your title is exactly what I’ve been thinking all week! I had my work evaluation today and I’m a bit stressed. Staying home and creating would be ideal 🙂

  23. #29
    jenny

    Love..love…love the snow. I’m really jealous of it…it only snows a few times here in TN. I wish it would snow and then time stop for a few days..that would be nice!

  24. #30
    Sherry G

    Look at you go with the December Daily Album and the JS book already put together. I have not even downloaded all of Day 2 yet, much less printed any of it. I’ll be going to the beach in a couple of weeks and hope to spend the weekend working on that. Gotta go check out Day 3!

    And yes all of Jessica’s classes are that awesome.

    Sherry

  25. #31
    Michelle

    OK, Cathy, since a product shoutout from you is like one from Oprah(!) we’re all going to RUN to Target to get those pencils! Hey, I know I will! My daughter will love them.

    I’ve been reading your blog (a voyeur) for a couple of years, but have never posted anything until now. I guess it was your title today that made me finally take the plunge. *Sigh* A girl can dream, can’t she? 🙂

    Just wanted to let you know you’ve made me laugh so many times, and shed more than a few tears. You have a great sense of humor & I love your insight & stories (especially about your family!)

    Good luck with that freakin’ stove — I have cleaning issues with mine, too!

  26. #32
    Michelle

    OK, Cathy, since a product shoutout from you is like one from Oprah(!) we’re all going to RUN to Target to get those pencils! Hey, I know I will! My daughter will love them.

    I’ve been reading your blog (a voyeur) for a couple of years, but have never posted anything until now. I guess it was your title today that made me finally take the plunge. *Sigh* A girl can dream, can’t she? 🙂

    Just wanted to let you know you’ve made me laugh so many times, and shed more than a few tears. You have a great sense of humor & I love your insight & stories (especially about your family!)

    Good luck with that freakin’ stove — I have cleaning issues with mine, too!

  27. #35
    HeatherC

    Isn’t that the way it always is — we stress over the gifts and the simplest are the best. My daughter right now (I kid you not) is playing with the $3.96 play-doh squirter that her sister got her last year. Now this is not played with daily like the pencils, but is played with often and the novelty has not yet worn off. Gotta love that!

    Your DD album is a cutie and I agree about the SIH class. Taking it too, and so far I am quite impressed.

  28. #36
    kim strother

    I am taking Jessica’s class too ( and taking yours- DYL) I think they go well together! Love the little binder!

  29. #38
    Renata Pacheco

    Cathy, I loved your blog title. I’m feeling exactly in this way at moment. I have a lot of projects I want to do (Ali’s December Daily album is one of them) and I don’t have enough time.

    By the way, I’ve just finished reading your book – Clean & Simple – The Sequel – and I loved it. It simply changed the way I see scrapbooking. Thank you for all your inspiration.

  30. #39
    kelli

    I bought my 12 yr. old Ferby pencil crayons, and Copic markers, and cringed at the price, but like your son, she has used them every single day! Guess what she’s getting more of this year? Pens and pencils! Why ruin a good thing?

  31. #42
    Susy

    Ohh, Cathy, you forgot to mention the house that cleans itself, then life would be perfection,lol.
    Coloured pencils… gotta love em.

  32. #43
    Brooke

    Not only do we all want to be rich, make stuff all day long, eat everything and be thin, we also want the skill to buy that one bargain gift that just keeps giving.

    While our Christmas has never been about thousands of gifts, this year is my son’s first Christmas and it’s hard not to want to go overboard. Please do keep us updated on what you do to change your feelings on the commerical side of the Christmas season. We always need reminding it’s not about how many gifts are under the tree.

  33. #44
    Abby P.

    Isn’t it funny how the cheaper the gift, the more use it gets? Go figure! Your Story in Hand album looks like it’s going to be GREAT! I’d love to see photos of it when you’re finished, or while you’re working on it…great colors. Have a snow-dusted day, another fan from your Design Your Life class!

  34. #45
    Heather Main

    I am a total Christmas Scrooge too, it’s not my favourite time of year that is for sure.
    I am going hunting for bargain legos because that is the one thing my almost 10 year old plays with every single day, everyday I am not kidding you he builds some sort of creation.
    He would probably love that pencil crayon set too.
    Oh and I saw you twitter about Strep guess what it hit the Main house last week.
    Heather

  35. #46
    Wendy in MD

    Wow. Snow already. Wow.

    The first thing I focused in on in that photo was the colored pencils. I wonder what that says about where my brain is tonight. Hmmmmm

    P.S. Love your little December book.

  36. #47
    Heather

    I have a bit of OCD myself when it comes to cleaning annoying glass fixtures. I recently just bought a glass kitchen table to open up my small cramped dining area. It does add some airyness — BUT, I am the mother of 2 young boys- YOUNG BOYS-what was I thinking? Well, I discovered those amazing microfiber cloths (made specifically for glass and monitor screens.) Magic, I tell you, Magic. All you have to do is dampen the cloth in some hot water–wring well–wipe down the table and let it air dry to an amazing streak-free shine. No more wasteful paper towel and windex cleaning. — When I saw the windex on your counter, I just had to share 🙂

  37. #49
    Erin

    Have you tried Mr Clean Magic Eraser on the stove yet. My stove is white and when it gets grungy, which is everyday, I just pull these out and have a go. Super easy and readily available.

  38. #50
    Erin

    Have you tried Mr Clean Magic Eraser on the stove? Mine is white and when it gets grungy, which is everyday, I pull one out and have a go. Super easy and readily available

  39. #51
    Rita

    I must be the biggest wimp in the World. I have a goose down comforter I keep on my bed year-round. I live just south of Houston, Texas. My poor husband grew up in Ohio……..I have been basting him for 14 years!!!! Love the projects, and my kids favorite past gifts were shrinky dinks. I bought a Klutz kit from amazon and they used sharpie fine tip markers to “customize” them….hours of fun!! Plus what boy doesn’t like to shrink plastic in the oven?? My son made the coolest creative characters and we put them on a chain……maybe Cole would like them???

  40. #52
    falwyn

    I just wish there were some way to tell WHICH simple gift will be so super appreciated beforehand, so as to skip all the rest of the crap.
    Or perhaps the key is simply to skip all the rest of the crap, because hey, if you only have one present, it’ll be appreciated!! 🙂

  41. #53
    Fabi

    Hi Cathy! I remember my daughter’s first Christmas when we bought her a super-mega-hyper expensive toy and all she wanted was to play with the five dollars plastic pots and pans grandma had given her… We felt like suckers that day and we have been creative with her gifts ever since.
    P.S.: Would you mind sending Cole over to teach my children how to keep their colored pencils neat and tidy? ;D

  42. #54
    Tiffany K

    You are so funny, I think you should publish your memoirs – oh wait, you do that every day on here – never mind.

    Anyway, I want to share with you an idea I got from Oprah’s magazine last year. I’m implementing it with my family and it’s making my holiday season so much better already! Our new rule is no gifts for adults, just kids. If you feel you MUST get an adult a gift, you have to give a dollar to charity for every dollar you spend on a gift. I’m going to give farm animals to impoverished familes in my family members’ names through Heifer International. Pretty cool huh? 🙂

  43. #55
    Sandy

    My mom had a glass top stove and she dropped a coffee mug on it and it must have landed at just the right angle and shattered the whole bloody thing! What a mess! I could ask her what the precise angle of the cup dropping was for you if you’re inclined to get a new one right now! 🙂

  44. #56
    Aileen

    Ditto on the glass stove top. I had one once. I will never get one again!!! There is something wonderfully magic about being warm inside when winter comes. Love those kind of days (although I don’t get many in the South). I am a transplant from Canada . . . miss true winters. I am just about to plunge into Jessica’s class, and am now inspired to do a daily album in December. Maybe it will help me focus on the season more too. Loving your class.

  45. #58
    Sarah

    Amen to everything in your post. Also, I found that complimenting my husband on his superior hob-cleaning skills worked beautifully. 😉

  46. #59
    paula

    omg…i just got that stupid stove! That’s not the one I ordered but I changed my mind about the damned thing with anohter stove & my husband’s like…you’re hosing the saleman.
    So I’ve got that stupid hard to clean stove. I was supposed to get stainless on the top but that’d cost me $200 more at this point so I’m keeping it. grrr.

  47. #60
    Joy

    Cathy! I need more details on that December book! Can we see the inside?

    And I’m taking Jessica’s SIH class too…she is fabulous! This class is going to be awesome!

  48. #61
    Joy

    Okay…I’m a blogging idiot! I just found the link to Ali’s blog with the details. We’d still love to see the inside of yours though 🙂

  49. #62
    Maria

    I love simple gifts!! They seem to be the ones that always last 🙂

    I’m taking the Stories in Hand class too! LOVE it so far. It’s my first online class like this and I’m excited to do a little brain dumping…………maybe it will make room for some new stuff !!

  50. #63
    Rebecca G.

    Funny, those pencils are the first thing I noticed in that picture. Then, of course, I noticed the window cleaner and realized it has been ages since I cleaned any of my windows. But I digress…

    I just had to comment today! Honestly, I thought I was the only person on earth who feels rather scrooge like when it comes to Christmas. I’m with you, though. It’s not the holiday, but the commercialization of it that makes me sick. Here’s hoping that I, also, can snap out of it this year. I’m trying…

  51. #64
    Sue

    Love your blog Cathy! Just wanted to comment on the stove cleaning – I had the same stove at my old place and loved it. Yep – loved it! I used Vim – the cream kind and wiped the stove with it. We even used a paint scraping razor blade on the tough cooked on stuff and it never scratched. After the Vim I simply wiped it clean with a wet cloth and I always had a beautiful clean stove top. I LOATHE my new stove with traditional burners – yuck!

  52. #65
    Sue

    Love your blog Cathy! Just wanted to comment on the stove cleaning – I had the same stove at my old place and loved it. Yep – loved it! I used Vim – the cream kind and wiped the stove with it. We even used a paint scraping razor blade on the tough cooked on stuff and it never scratched. After the Vim I simply wiped it clean with a wet cloth and I always had a beautiful clean stove top. I LOATHE my new stove with traditional burners – yuck!

  53. #66
    Sue

    Love your blog Cathy! Just wanted to comment on the stove cleaning – I had the same stove at my old place and loved it. Yep – loved it! I used Vim – the cream kind and wiped the stove with it. We even used a paint scraping razor blade on the tough cooked on stuff and it never scratched. After the Vim I simply wiped it clean with a wet cloth and I always had a beautiful clean stove top. I LOATHE my new stove with traditional burners – yuck!

  54. #67
    Liana

    I’m sitting here at work TOTALLY feeling you. One of my favorite online games released an update yesterday that I can’t play until i get home from pool league tonight. PLUS today is the preview crop for CKC-Seattle…while I sit here….

  55. #68
    lynn whelan

    seriously? the black cooktop is hard to keep clean? in what way? i ask because i have a white one and it is horrible. as i slowly replace my appliances i am going stainless and was looking forward to the black top. no?

  56. #69
    Nickolette

    Cathy~ your blog cracks me up! You totally seem like someone whose house I would come to on Saturday morning and hang with for coffee- in my schlep clothes sans make-up! Enjoy your blatherings!
    Question: where is the binder from that you are using for Stories in Hand?
    Thanks! Have a great day~
    Nikki

  57. #70
    vateresa

    Cathy–Bourbon + Down Comforters.. I don’t own a comforter. Weehhheee. Funny, funny lady.

    Please keep up your journey to find the bliss in Christmas again. Yes, it is commercialized, but you don’t have to join in that craziness. I know whatcha talkin’ about and for me, with a husband 2+ years unemployed, it can bring you down quickly.

    Instead (maybe?) look at the creativity + colored pencils all around you during this season, find the graciousness in people because some of those crazy shoppers are shopping for Salvation Army, or the local hospitals, or for the teens at a adoption home. Eek out all the joy watching your talented, funny, crazy kids enjoy the season with all its pluses and minuses. Bundle up with the hubby and watch a silly Charlie Brown Christmas video. Sit with some low-fat chocolate and read and re-read all your friends’ Christmas cards that are coming your way soon. ‘Tis the season. Count those blessings.
    Love you girl–you give so much–this is my little gift to you.

  58. #71
    jennjifer

    hi cathy, ya know, i dont like Christmas either. i absolutely dread the rest of the year. it’s so sad. i wish i could enjoy it like so many others. just wanted you to know that i guess. lol.

  59. #72
    Nancy

    oh my gosh, you read my mind! i am staying at home right now (doing some creating, taking DYL), but the eating and being thin part has totally eluded me!!

  60. #73
    Nancy

    and I have a black glass stovetop too and I also despise it, it’s the only kitchen choice I made which I regret. my 2 cents on cleaning is that the Weiman’s (wipes or cream) works okay most of the time and the Easy Off Cooktop spray works a little better, although I’m using up more than my fair share of paper towels!

  61. #74
    Loni

    My first post. Had to commiserate with you on the glasstop cooktop! I have two and they truly are “PITA”s. The first came (white)with our California house in 2002. We moved to Washington in 2004 and this house has a black one. We’re returning to the CA next month! I loved the tip on the microfiber cloths! Love your blog, BTW!

  62. #75
    Jeannette P

    wow you guys got hit with some snow already? We haven’t had much of anything here in the U.P. I’d compare our snow flurries to that of a really lame snow globe.

    Hope your ideas help you have a nice holiday season this year.

  63. #76
    chris

    Yeah for Jessica and bringing my Brit WW2 memories to life! I’m now thinking of that old Victorian iron stove we had in the kitchen. Now that really was work!!

    Best thing for the glass top stove – an electric frying pan! Seriously, I don’t have nearly as much mess on the stove since buying it. Another item I discovered that helps is the single-edged razor in the little holder that GE sells, but I’m now so expert with it, I no longer need the holder.

    I wash down the stove with a soaked paper towel and a wee drop of soap, dry it immediately with dry paper towels and use the razor on any blobs and blotches.

    My next buy is going to be an electric pressure cooker so I won’t have to go near that glass top at all!

  64. #77
    chris

    Yeah for Jessica and bringing my Brit WW2 memories to life! I’m now thinking of that old Victorian iron stove we had in the kitchen. Now that really was work!!

    Best thing for the glass top stove – an electric frying pan! Seriously, I don’t have nearly as much mess on the stove since buying it. Another item I discovered that helps is the single-edged razor in the little holder that GE sells, but I’m now so expert with it, I no longer need the holder.

    I wash down the stove with a soaked paper towel and a wee drop of soap, dry it immediately with dry paper towels and use the razor on any blobs and blotches.

    My next buy is going to be an electric pressure cooker so I won’t have to go near that glass top at all!

  65. #78
    Lisa

    You can buy special cleaner for those stove tops cause i have one and i know how you feel about cleaning it. But the ones made just for it really are better.

    Love the pencils in the shot:) Isn’t it great when you discover little gems in pics that you didn’t even know you captured?

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