NaBloPoMo Reflections, Tips, and Tricks

This year I decided that I had made NaBloPoMo way to hard on myself last year. Last year, I valiantly reviewed a Very Special Episode most days and those posts were lengthy. So this year I focused on alternating between long and short posts, which was really great on the nights that I felt wiped out from work and didn’t feel like churning anything out.

And somehow I managed to suck even more at cross-posting to BlogHer than I did last year. So I tried to catch up one night by cross-posting like 4 posts in one fell swoop. This caused them to label me as a spammer and I have since had my account locked. This turned out to be the BEST THING EVER! It turns out that I hate cross-posting. I also hate the design of that website. Somehow I felt obligated to cross-post to “get the most out of NaBloPoMo” and being locked-out of my account released me from the self-imposed chore that I had created. (If this ever happens to you, you can contact the website to have them re-open your account. But I opted to just say goodbye.)

Most of all, this year I remembered that NaBloPoMo is about community. Sure, it’s about giving yourself a challenge. But that challenge wouldn’t be nearly as fun if you weren’t checking out all of the other blogs participating as well. So this year I read more, liked more, and shared more. This made the entire process less-stressful and more fun.

Note to self: You’re going to look back at this post while agonizing over whether or not you should do NaBloPoMo again. And I’m telling you that you probably shouldn’t. But you, future self, are probably reading this and saying, “Yeah, I see what you’re saying, but I want the new badge that says NaBloPoMo 2016.”

DIY Advent Calendar

This year I decided to make my own advent calendar. I used this instructable to make mini origami envelopes, which I then filled with fun little tasks or activities. I mixed them all up, so I wouldn’t know which slip of paper ended up in which envelope. (Except for when I knew I’d be out of town this month and I wrote “Have a great time at Disney World” for those specific envelope dates 🙂 )

This was very easy. All you need is:
-Cardstock (for the base of the calendar and for the envelopes as well)
-Slips of paper (for the prompts)
-Tacky Glue (to put it all together)
-A metallic sharpie to write dates on the envelopes

I used Washi Tape to sick this to the back of my front door, but it’s up to you how you want to adhere it and to what surface!

NaBloPloMo Favorites

As NaBloPoMo swiftly draws to a close, I’d like to give one more shout-out to awesome posts I read around the blogosphere. All of the posts below are from fellow WordPress bloggers and have the tag “nablopomo.”

Peanut Butter Crepes by Kat’s 9 Lives
As you well know, I am no chef. But I enjoyed reading about these crepes, nonetheless. And if you do look to cook, then you can make them from this recipe!

Riding the Tide: Life Lessons from the Jellies by totallyKelly!
I’m really feeling these life lessons right now. I’ve always thought jellyfish were cool creatures, but now I have a deeper respect for them.

Chicka Chicka Shoe Shoe by Love2Read365
I wish I could read this cool shoe “board book”

Victory by Victory to Charm
I love this microfiction about owning ones first home!

Home Improvement: The Wood, the Bad and the Hungry

Even though last I said that Cheers had the best Thanksgiving episode ever, I think this is probably the best Thanksgiving episode ever. And I wasn’t lying last year. I just didn’t know this episode existed. But now I do. And now I think it’s the best.


So there’s actually not a lot going on in this episode. Tim is having all of his friends and family over to his house for Thanksgiving, but he choses not to invite this one really annoying guy. But then he sees him at the soup kitchen, where Randy is volunteering. He’s kind of disturbed by the whole event, so he does what any good, stressed human would do. He falls asleep. And this is what he dreams:

As it turns out, this dude isn’t actually down on his luck. He just goes to the soup kitchen because he thinks the soup is tasty and “pays for it” with his “tax dollars.” So really, he’s a total turd. But Tim’s learned from his claymation dreams and decides that even total turds deserve a friendly meal on Thanksgiving.

Very Special Thanksgiving Lesson: “Even the lowliest creature needs a friend.”

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch: Love Means Having to Say You’re Sorry

Harvey and Sabrina are on the rocks (she kissed Josh from the coffee shop) so she’s not going to be able to spend Thanksgiving at his house this year. Since they are broken up, Harvey suggests that they return all of the stuff that they’ve accrued from each other over the years.


Salem is surprisingly upset about all of this. He sobs while Sabrina combs through her stuff looking for things that belong to Harvey. (He was expecting to be Harvey’s best man at Harvey & Sabrina’s wedding.) When Hilda and Zelda see the awful sad-fest going on in their home, they decide to prepare a Thanksgiving meal (a holiday witches do not celebrate) for Sabrina.

But the next day at school, Dreama (geez, did Sabrina have a different friend literally every school year?) notices that Harvey saved a framed picture of Sabrina and is keeping it in his locker. Meanwhile, Zelda and Hilda are freaking about about having to stuff a turkey. I don’t blame them. It’s horrifying.


(FYI witches have to prepare Thanksgiving meals by hand, as they are discouraged from celebrating Thanksgiving.) But they find a loophole. They conjure up some pilgrims to cook for them!


Sabrina’s decided to try a “forgive and forget” spell to get back with Harvey. But he literally forgets everything–who she is and who he is. So she tries a series of other spells based on cliche phrases. They all backfire horribly.

Having discovered that Hilda and Zelda are witches, the pilgrims tie them up and try to burn them at the stake. But they’re witches, so they quickly get out of that mess. Realizing that they do not have the upper-hand hear, the pilgrims agree to cook dinner in exchange for safe passage home.


Sabrina finally figures out that the best way to fix her relationship with Harvey is to go back and time and stop herself from ever kissing Josh. But when she tries that and she and Harvey still are broken up, her aunts tell her that this means her break-up was “meant to be.”

But then they run into each other in the hallway and Sabrina apologizes for bumping into Harvey. And then they end up apologizing to each other for like hours about everything that went wrong in their relationship.

Very Special Thanksgiving Lesson: In case you didn’t notice, this “apologizing” thing is what Harvey and Sabrina needed to do in the first place.

The Brady Bunch: The Un-Underground Movie

Greg is making a movie about the Pilgrims for his history class. Pretty soon all of the adults in his house take over writing the screenplay. Greg’s pretty pissed about it and I guess fails to see that he’s getting away with not doing his homework and also not getting in trouble.


It’s only a matter of time before the entire production is out of Greg’s hand. Carol wants to dress all of the girls in color because of the color film, even though Greg insists that pilgrims only wore black and white. All of his sisters demand the same part and say they won’t be in the movie unless they’re cast as the lead “Priscilla.” Bobby and Peter are pissed that they’re forced to play pilgrims, when they would much rather play racially stereotyped braves.


Greg kind of freaks out but like in a really Brady-fashion. And his awesome parents are completely understanding. They’re not even mad that he got mad because they realize they were being jerks. This concludes our instructional video on how to have a healthy fight with your family.


Also, Greg casts Jan as the lead just like he always wanted to. (Ha, Marcia.) Then Mike has to explain to Peter and Bobby that the pilgrims stole all of the Indians land and you can tell he feels a little awkward about it. It’s 1970 now so things are about to start getting really guilty for the white folks.


Anyway, they finally get the movie done and Greg puts everything in slow-motion. So it’s basically a pantomime. And it’s basically the greatest film ever made, as far as I’m concerned. Like Florence Henderson really missed her calling at a 1920’s dramatic actress.

Very Special Thanksgiving Lesson: Don’t boss your kid around, but do let him boss the rest of the family around.

WKRP in Cincinnati: Turkeys Away

mv5bodyxnjkzntq4ml5bml5banbnxkftztywndyzmti2-_v1_sx640_sy720_Mr. Carlson, WKRP’s station manager, has been bugging everyone around the station because he’s looking to be “more involved.” There’s nothing more annoying than an insecure boss–well except maybe an insecure boss with a Thanksgiving project.

Mr. Carlson keeps all of the details very hush hush, so all that the station team knows is that the project has something to do with giving away a bunch of turkeys. News anchor, Les Nessman, calls this “the greatest Turkey event in Thanksgiving Day history.”

Soon a helicopter appears over head and Les Nessman assumes that is is looking for a place to land. But then something falls out of the back of the helicopter. And what follows is a Turkey Hindenburg-esque Disaster:

Oh and the humane society is pretty pissed.

Very Special Thanksgiving Lesson: Some turkeys actually can fly. But not usually the plump ones we eat for Thanksgiving. And probably not any turkeys that are dropped over a parking lot by a radio station’s helicopter.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving

I know we Americans tend to skip this holiday more and more each year, but this year in particular it kind of took me by surprise–the holiday skipping, that is.

On my drive to work Friday, my radio station played it’s usual morning variety. But when I drove home, a mere 9 hours later, it was ALL Christmas music. It was like someone flipped the switch somewhere in middle of the day and whoops, it’s Christmastime!

My boyfriend tried to explain that the shocking jump from Halloween to Christmas these days is all about decorations. I insisted, “I LOVE THANKSGIVING DECORATIONS!” And he said, “You do? Really? What Thanksgiving decorations do you love?” And I said “I love GOURDS!”

But the truth is, there are no gourds decorating my home. And all I can offer you in the hopes of remembering this time of thanks and giving is a memorial to episodes from the past. Here is this year’s lineup:

WKRP in Cincinnati: Turkey’s Away
The Brady Bunch: The Un-Underground Movie
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch: Love Means Having to Say You’re Sorry
Home Improvement: The Wood, the Bad and the Hungry


Sister, Sister: Slime Party

Tia and Tamera get to be contestants on a quiz show. Tia’s basically a triva genius so they think they have this in the bag. But what they don’t realize is they’re facing off against Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen. That’s right. This is the most 90’s thing every and will probably make your brain explode.

But since this is Sister, Sister only Mary-Kate & Ashley are famous and Tia & Tamera are just two girls from the suburbs of Detroit. Also, they make Mary-Kate say “You Got it Dude,”poor thing.

But then Tia gets major stage-fright. She cannot even say her name when it’s time to introduce herself on the show. Mary-Kate just kills it. She gets all of the answers right. Tamera has to squeeze fresh orange juice with her butt because she and Tia lost the round. This continues on for a painful amount of time. With every round that Tia chokes, something gross happens to Tamera.

At the break, Tia and Tamera decide to switch so that Tia can get slimed for a while. But the category turns out to be trivia about Coolio, and Tamera knows every single answer.

So then Mary-Kate and Ashley are supposed to both get slimed because they’re the losers. But Tia and Tamera feel bad and try to push them out of the way, so they all end up getting slimed.

Very Special Lesson: In this episode, Mary-Kate was definitely the cute one and Ashley was her sister.

P.S. Tia & Tamera used to babysit MK&A in real life.

250 Posts!

This is my 250th post on The Very Special Blog! To commemorate this momentous occasion, I thought I would share some of my favorite posts. And what I discovered is that my favorite posts are basically the ones you commented the most on. Turns out I like talking to you people!

So here are some of “our” favorites posts:

The time that Marcia broke her nose and I thoroughly enjoyed her downfall:
When we collectively coveted the outfits from Teen Witch:

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This outfit is so cool it will make you not mind catcalls

When Johnny Depp accepted his first case on 21 Jump Street:

When we all laughed because “Alice” got addicted to all of the drugs ever on the planet, even the ones that aren’t addictive:
That time Roseanne and Family Matters were pitted against each other in a take-no-prisoners Disney World episode showdown:

When very special episodes move me to tears:

And yes, that time someone finally had sex on The Facts of Life: