A permanent farewell … from here

4 Sep

It took me about two weeks off from blogging to realize something: I missed blogging.

I missed it the way I USED to do it. Before I started to view Snap, Crackle, Pop as a way to help promote Jac & Elsie. Before I read too many other blogs and thought I needed to tell people what to wear and how to pair mint green tights with a coral shirt (not that I ever did this, mind you. I just thought I was supposed to).

I want to enjoy blogging again, and that means posting about things I care about, and it means being more personal and not being afraid to say things people might not like. Stuff over the past two weeks I thought it would be fun to blog about:

  • I can’t tell you how much I wanted to post something along the lines of, “There’s no better way to get a gal to donate to Planned Parenthood than for a politician to say ‘rape’ is different from ‘legitimate rape.'” Dumbass.
  • I’m on a hunt for bridal earrings, and it is a very fun hunt.
  • I saw a whole bunch of hate on the whole “Here is a pic of my kid standing on the front stoop before his or her first day of school” on Facebook. It got old, but it didn’t make me rage. Instead, what annoys the poo out of me is all this “Look how great of a dieter I am” and “Look how much exercise I do.” Being healthy is great. Bragging about it is annoying. And there’s a fine line between being proud of your accomplishments and being a braggart.
  • I want orange eye shadow, and I want to make it work.

So, ya know, some of the old, some of some new. Still me, but less forced.

Which is manifesting itself this way: I’m retiring Snap, Crackle, Pop and birthing Curious Jac. I’m not going to feel like I need a certain number of posts a week and instead will turn to it when I want to.

Curious Jac is for me, you see. It’s not for Jac & Elsie, or for blog linkups (but I’ll play, if I find one I like). It’s not for giveaways or sponsorships.

Just me.

If you’d like to come along for the ride, I’d just love the company.

SCP taking a break

20 Aug

You may have noticed things have been on the quiet side over on Snap, Crackle, Pop. Frankly … I’m bored with blogging. And this should be fun.

So I’m taking a break.

I may be checking in now and again to share some fun stuff (Jeff and I got our engagement pictures taken this weekend, so stay tuned for some of those in the next month or so), but consider this an indefinite and temporary leave of absence.

I’ll be back when my head’s more in the blogging game.

Until then, I’ll still be blogging periodically over at Engaged: The Blog. If you have an opinion on what to do when two grown-ass adults who don’t need anything have to register for gifts, I’d love to hear it right here.


Awesome, awesome writing advice

16 Aug

The best piece of writing advice I ever got was from my high school journalism teacher. It went, simply, “Kill your darlings.”

The idea is that, as a writer, we come up with these lines or paragraphs or stories that, for one reason or another, we love. We find them brilliant or witty. We think they showcase our writing ability in a wonderful and perfect and ideal way.

And yet, they are a detriment to the story. They add nothing. They’re superfluous, and wordy and the piece, as a whole, benefits from its quick elimination. They are masturbatory prose.

But, but … it’s your darling.

Kill it. Kill it hard, kill it fast, kill it good.

Being this kind of self editor is hard, but it makes us much better writers.

I found this bit of writing advice on Buzz Feed that gave me heart palpitations. Gems include:


“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” ~ Mark Twain

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” ~ Saul Bellow (Why is this true??? My guess is that we’re not awake enough to second-guess our gut.)

“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.” ~ T.S. Eliot

“Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald (Yes.)

But the one that made me bounce in my seat, that made me say “yay yay yay yay yaaay”?

“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” ~ Stephen King.

My favorite writer giving my favorite writing advice. My shit day has become beautiful.

What bit of writing advice did you learn once that you think of and follow regularly?

A week of Autism Speaks donations: Happy birthday, Joe Joe

13 Aug

You may have noticed something missing this month, something that you’ve seen for the past two years at Snap, Crackle, Pop: There’s no Joey’s Auction.

Over the past two Augusts, you glorious people have helped me raise $1071.50 for Elim Christian Academy, where my brother Joey went to high school, through Joey’s Auction and Joey’s Auction 2011.

This year, I decided to take the year off, in part because I want to come back with a bang next year.

I always chose August as the month of auctions because August is Joey’s birth month. On Thursday, my little brother will turn 23 years old. And a lot has happened since that first auction two years ago:

  • Joey graduated high school.
  • Joey entered, and got kicked out of, a day program. (He’s a total doll baby, but let’s just say he has it in him to be a turd.)
  • Joey started eating more than hot dogs (check out the third to last graph in that post). His menu currently includes White Castle burgers (if you forget to ask for them without onions, he will scrape them off, possibly on his own lap), sausage (the last time I was home, we had pizza. He stared at a piece on the plate in front of him for 10 minutes before snatching a piece of sausage off like a ninja), cucumbers (he’ll eat an entire one, cut up and in oil and seasonings), pickles (he used to only drink the juice) and more. He has also eaten an entire bullion cube (ew) and taken a bite of marinated, raw steak. (Well, tried to take a bite. Mom caught him as he did and got to him before he could actually swallow it.) When we sing him happy birthday this year, I’m wondering if he’ll take his first bit of cake in more than 20 years (unless he’s already had cake and Mom and Dad just haven’t mentioned that yet).
  • I got engaged. OK, that doesn’t affect him directly, but Mom has been dreading this time of my life since I graduated high school. What to do with him for that entire day? What if he acts up? What if he wanders around the reception and steals pop from everyone in Jeff’s family? (OK, I’m sort of counting on that last one happening.) But my parents’ quest to find an aide for Joey over the past, oh, two years has not proven fruitful. The idea is that we’d get someone to be at the wedding to spend the entire time with Joey so my mom and dad can, oh, I don’t know, actually enjoy their daughter’s wedding. So he can have someone to take him home if necessary. So he can have someone to go with him to the rest room. So my folks can have an extra set of eyes glued to him at the party with 125-ish people. I plan to ask every aunt, uncle and cousin I have to help my folks and see to it that they are able to enjoy themselves, but really, if we could have one person who’s trained to deal with him, that’d be swell.

Any who, despite not having an auction this year, I can’t let Joey’s birthday go uncelebrated. So this year, I will donate 10 percent of every Jac & Elsie sale to Autism Speaks, starting today and going through Sunday, Aug. 19. If you’ve had your eye on anything and have been waiting to take the purchase plunge, now’s the time to do it.

If you want to help out but would rather donate directly to Autism Speaks, you can do so here. Say you’re giving for Joey. (And let me know so I can add it to the total. I’m happy to keep it anonymous, if you like.)

Joey, and my family, thank you (despite the fact that he’s giving you the stink eye).

Swooning over Blue Nile jewelry

7 Aug

I’ve a fan of Blue Nile on Facebook, and it’s one of my favorite Facebook discoveries. I love to browse the website and drool over all the gorgeous. Come holiday time, the beau just might be getting sent some links for gift ideas for moi.

So this edition of My Favorite Things is all about Blue Nile. All my faves are from their sale section. If you see something you like, use code “summer32” at checkout to receive 20 or 35 percent off. Not too shabby.

First off, holy amazing. It’s like a pearl necklace in sterling. I adore the look of this. It somehow mixes elegant and classic with industrial and chic. Swoon. (Click on any of the pics for more.)

I’m not a painter, but I would wear the crap out of this thing. The tiny bursts of color on the pallet are just perfect.

I think I’d wear these earrings everyday. So simple and lovely.

I can’t get over the chain link on this bracelet. Gorgeous.

And that’s just sterling. Check out the diamond and gemstone jewelry sale items too.

Happy browsing. What’s your favorite item?

Have you entered the Artsy Anthropology giveaway yet? Win a key chain wallet here.

In which I brag on the beau

6 Aug

I started a new ad campaign with a larger website today, and the beau designed a few ads for me to use on the site. (The site is awesome and lets you submit two. It tracks which gets more hits and sticks with that one for the duration of the ad time. Love it.)

The site also sent out a list of do’s and don’t’s when dealing with ads, depending on site placement and ad size. It gave me some ideas, and I asked Jeff if he knew how to deal with animation and slides. Because he is magic, the answer was “yes.”

Check out what he created for me (minus the pink box around it, my blog does that automatically):


I’m so beyond in love with them. I love the font and the colors and the design and the earring sparkle at the end and the little mottos I came up with.

Which do you like better? I want to use one of them as my ad on this side bar, but I’m not sure which to go with.

(Note: OK, both of these are supposed to have slides. Is the top one working for you??)

Q&A and giveaway with Artsy Anthropology

3 Aug

I “met” Miss Paige over on Twitter when I saw a tweet requesting an ad swap. Man, I was in.

Paige runs the Artsy Anthropology blog and Etsy shop, and I’d love to introduce her to you guys. Be sure to read through the end, where she’s giving away an awesome little treat.

Reason No. 1 why she’s awesome: Through Wednesday, Paige is donating 10 percent of every purchase from her shop to Pencils of Promise, a group that builds schools for those who don’t otherwise have access to education.

Tell me about your blog. I originally started my blog to promote my shop, but then I realized I just liked blogging. Sharing recipes, tutorials and getting to meet other bloggers is so fun!

Tell me about your shop. I started off making jewelry, really just a way to occupy my time while nannying during my year after undergrad, then while in grad school. Then I moved on to hair accessories, and now I’m sewing. I still do it all, but the sewing is the must fun and rewarding — I think that’s because the projects are bigger and have more color. I sell on Etsy to keep my pile of things from getting too big! I also sell a lot to my mom, her friends and a few local shops in town.

What do you consider the most overrated movie? Something people just love but you don’t think deserves any of the love. UGH … Anchor Man, Napoleon Dynamite, Borat … really!? What happened to movies like Jaws, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club, Knotting Hill?!

It’s a lazy Saturday afternoon. What can we find you doing? Probably working at P.F. Chang’s in the morning, coming home and sewing while watching movies or reruns of some show on Netflix. Currently I’m working my way back through One Tree Hill. I’m sure once I go back to school this fall there will be homework in there too.

If we asked your best friend to describe you, what would he or she say? That I’m a boring homebody that needs to go out and party and drink more … haha. But she loves me anyway. No but seriously, all my friends will tell you that I like to be in my own space, being creative, maybe drinking a glass of wine and watching a good movie. They all like it though, because it means they get killer birthday and Christmas presents 😉

Paige is offering up TWO goodies for this giveaway: The winner’s choice of one of her key chain wallets AND ad space on Artsy Anthropology. If by chance the winner doesn’t have a blog or shop to advertise, a second winner will be chosen.

Want to enter? Here’s how:

  • This is a MANDATORY entry: First, wander on over to the Artsy Anthropology Etsy shop and heart your favorite item. Second, you gotta be a Snap, Crackle, Pop follower. Leave one comment on this blog post with the link of your favorite Artsy Anthropogy item AND the way that you follow my blog.

Want more ways to enter? Leave a comment for each saying you’ve done the bulleted item:

This giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada and will be open through midnight, Aug. 10. Good luck, all!

New items in the shop — I’m feeling the gold love

31 Jul

I just added some new treats to the shop after finding myself on a bit of a gold kick. Also, each includes something I found on a single purchase I recently made at a flea market. Each piece is lightweight and whimsical (and $14 or less), and I had to share.

The flea market find was, I think, a key chain. It was gold and featured a short, thick chain (there was nothing to use for attaching keys, though) and three small charms, each cuter than the first.

The first charm I used was the tiny heart lock, which I paired with an enamel flower I found at an estate sale (click any pic for more):

The second charm on the find was a simple gold locket in wonderful condition. I attached it to a new gold-toned chain and left it as is because, well, I adore lockets and don’t think they need a lot of frills to be fabulous. In the listing, I also included another vintage gold-toned locket I had, with some three-dimensional flowers. You get either one you like — or both.

The final charm on the flea market find was my favorite: a tiny little teapot. Instead of putting that on a necklace, I made a little charm bracelet for it. It looked lonely by itself, so I also included a new, wire-wrapped genuine pearl. What an adorable pair:

I hope you enjoy my vintage and upcycled gold treats.

My favorite things

31 Jul

In which I share some beautiful things.

I adore the colors in this Caught Red Handed Too bracelet (click on any of the pics for more):

The pattern and style of this ring by Les Things is beautifully simple:

I’m not sure what I love more, the sentiment or the typewriter in this Sweet Harvey print:

I’m currently accepting ideas how I can use this fab ribbon by The Lonely Heart in my wedding decor:

Which is your fav?

Getting to know me

30 Jul

The beau and I spent a long weekend in southwest Ohio, or what I like to call “home.”

I was born about an hour south of Chicago, and my family moved to a Cinci suburb when I was in fifth grade. While I was off in college in the other corner of the state, they up and moved back to Illinois. When I graduated, I worked in Illinois for three years before heading to Indiana, where I currently live.

Despite all the moves, all the states, the jobs, the people … southwest Ohio is my home. When I visit, I get a feeling that can only be described as giddy. The views, the streets, the simple geography is in my veins.

For the first time in our 2 1/2-year relationship, I got to bring Jeff “home.” I got to show him where I went to high school. He got to meet my bestie’s family. We were the attached-at-the-hip type, so when her parents told me I’m welcome at their lake house any time, even if their daughter is not there, I know they’re not lying.

The bestie and the beau right after they jumped off the pontoon. I stayed put.

He also got to meet The Second Family, the crew I started babysitting for when I was 12 who have become so much more than that. (Does everyone have a Second Family? In my experience, most do, so I hope this relationship makes sense beyond “Those people I used to babysit for.”)

On the trip, I watched my fiance and my best friend jump off a pontoon boat and swim back to shore (see above — I really adore that pic). I watched him chat with the fellow whose children took up pretty much every Saturday night during junior high and high school. I drove him past the house I grew up in and pointed to a giant tree towering over the house. My brother gave that tree to my mom as a mother’s day gift when it was nothing more than a twig in a Styrofoam cup.

I got a little paparazzi with my old house. That’s the tree my brother gave to my mom for Mother’s Day. It truly was laughably small back when Dad planted it.

He got to understand why this is the place I would so, so, so love to “end up” someday, and on the drive home, I told him, “I feel like you know me better now.”