murder she wrote

As of late, when someone approaches me with the "so, how was your weekend?" inquiry, I find myself racking my brain to think of something even remotely interesting to say.
BUT. This last Monday, that problem did not persist!

My cute friend Sadey and I came up with the idea to throw a murder mystery party a couple months back and I'm happy to report that this last weekend, we went through with the idea!

It took a lot of time and planning, but was all worth it in the end. It was so much fun to have such great friends over at my home! :)

We went with the 1920's theme. 
Sadey, being the little crafter that she is, made these cute things:

Everyone was assigned a character and was required to act their part throughout the entire night. Needless to say, none of us are very brushed up on our Chicagan! I think Jake changed cities at least 15 times!


The "goi-jus" lady suspects ;)

The handsome gents!

Love these pretty ladies!

Artichoke dip
aka: Frankin' Brains!
 Pumpkin soup in a pumpkin,
alongside fried gremlin ears and ogre eyeballs...
More commonly known as tortellini and meatballs!

The Bar

I found the coolest martini glasses 
and spooky wine glasses at the D.I.

We all had such a great time,
and I can't wait for the next excuse 
to throw another shin-dig like this!

Until then, "yous guys" better watch your back...
The murderer?
Yours truly. :)

Happy Halloween!


Confessions of a Shop-o-holic? No. Rants of a Sales Associate? Yes!

We've all done it.
But before you read this post, I want you to take a long hard look at yourself and decide what kind of clothing shopper you truly are...

a) Tame and Timely Tammy- Upon entering the store, you kindly reply to the sales associate with a smile as he/she greets you. You pick up clothes you've dropped on the floor and neatly browse through clothing as you wander. After entering a dressing room (with an appropriate amount of items that you can easily try on within a reasonable amount of time) you then take care of business and leave the dressing room looking as clean as it did when you first entered. At the time of departure, you kindly pay for your clothing without throwing fits about "overpriced [fill in the blanks]" and say thank you as you walk out the door and promise to be back soon. This shopper is a rare gem.

b) Normal Nancy- As you enter the store, you give a brisk hello and continue with your shopping experience. You are not overly needy in your requests, but also are not afraid to ask for help. If one side of a shirt falls off the hanger, you slyly sneak it between the other shirts jammed on that rack (as any "normal" shopper would, right?) and carry on. You enter the dressing room where you may or may not choose to hang every last piece of clothing before exiting--It depends on your mood. Upon exiting the store, you're friendly enough. You leave without making a fuss.

C) Crazy Kelly- (This shopper is open to a number of interpretations.) You are the shopper who, when asked how you're doing, replies "dumb, fat, and happy." You are the shopper actively singing to "dynamite" by (literally) "throwing your hands up in the air sometimes" as the chorus chimes through the store. You are the shopper who asks to put 15 items on hold and doesn't understand why this may be a problem. You are the shopper who brings your dog into a clothing department and lets it roam in and out of other's dressing rooms as you freely take your time trying on that large stack of outfits. You are also the shopper who complains about every policy set in place and asks for special discounts, (expecting to get them) just because you're entitled. You're the shopper who takes 38 items (really.) into a dressing room and then proceeds to occupy that room for the next hour. You're the shopper who threatens that according to federal law, the signs above the clothing are "inaccurate" and the store could be sued. You're the shopper who lets your children jump from couch to couch playing "don't touch the ground" while they slobber sucker juice all over the white upholstery. And speaking of suckers, you're the shopper who doesn't do anything about the sucker stick your child stuck to a brand-new shirt. Oh. And you're the shopper who, during Christmastime, tries to eat the year-old cookies that are strategically placed as decoration in the front entry way.

Okay, you got it figured out? Good. Now if you are not shopper "C" then you can continue to read this post without taking any offense. And frankly, if you are shopper C, you probably don't know that you are (or wouldn't dare to admit it!), so reading this post will offend you in no way.

I just had to write about shopper C. "Shopper C" is a personification of anyone and everyone who has ever acted in any sort of manner. He/she comes into our store quite frequently, and to be completely honest, I'm not always opposed. As you can see from above, I've got some PRET-TY good stories thanks to Crazy Kelly. The cookie incident? Woman walks into store personifying Santa Claus while taking a jolly chomp out of said cookie. Only it's not just a cookie. It's a YEAR-OLD Fig Newton! It wasn't even Chocolate Chip! I just have to know...Was it worth it??   

Shopper C came into the store the other day and left us an awesome surprise. It was so thoughtful too. I just had to blog about it! So I was at work, just minding my own business and had to use the restroom. Normal enough so far, right? Well...as I approached the bathroom door, I was delighted to find this

Sitting outside of this

Oh man. I SO wish I would have taken a picture!! It was so cute and thoughtful how C had rolled it up all neat-like and placed it right outside the bathroom. Just sat it on the ground against the door. Sweet, right? I mean a normal person would have thought to find a garbage can, but C is no normal person. Thoughtful. And in the word's of Janet, "bless" :)

No, C is no normal person. But I am here today to thank you, if you are shopper C. Why? Because you've given me one more thing to make my life different than the next "Average Joe." My life is SO exciting thanks to you! I've got loads of stories to exchange with my fellow co-workers and you've given me quite the laugh.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

And for future reference, no, I would not like to check out your butt, regardless of whether or not you're homosexual. Thanks.


It's a small world after all...

Have you ever had those moments where you think to yourself,
"it really is a small world after all..."
  Like when you're on the train in Germany and you sit next to an American couple who met your American aunt and uncle while the four of them were on a trip to Singapore?
Or when you meet the girl who you're visiting teaching and find out she's the girl who your teenage crush was always telling you about?
(Both true stories)
Well, the best "It's a small world" moment I've ever had took place this past Saturday while I was laboring at the DE.
I was at the register for the first time that day and was about to walk away, when three woman came to buy their clothes.
I inwardly groaned...I was in my usual "register" mood...not really wanting to be patient with the 9,999th customer who was about to come to the credit-card machine, and while signing for their card say, "wow...that looks nothing like my signature" or "is this thing even working?"
(Thanks to this daily occurrence, I have seriously perfected the courtesy laugh. I guess the DE has been good for one thing!)
Well as I stated the return policy, the woman made the usual out-of-towner comment "Oh don't worry, I won't be returning these things... *Chuckle*" (Clever).
So, trying to make an effort to shake off my mood and add to the customer's "complete shopping experience", I struck up a conversation.
Steph: Where are you from?
Woman: Wisconsin
Steph: Oh, cool. (Enthusiastic response, I know)
(I must add...at this point, I continued to ring up the clothes with nothing else to say. I have never been the brightest when it comes to geography, and unless someone says the word "Milwaukee" followed by "Wisconsin," it doesn't immediately register that they're referring to the place where my brother is currently living....my brain is weird. I have no explanation for this.)
As I stood for a minute, it finally clicked. Then came my delayed response.
Steph: My brother is living there right now...
Woman: Oh really, for what, dental school?
Steph: No, actually he's serving an LDS mission...
*More conversation, not pertinent to the story*
Woman: So what is your brother's name, he could have been in our ward..
At this point I was thinking what are the chances that my brother would be in this lady's ward. Slim to none. but I replied with an "Elder Kjar" anyway.
Woman: Wait! *Steps back and covers her mouth* I KNOW your brother! We had him over at our house FOR DINNER!!! He is the sweetest boy in the whole entire world!!
Then she went on to explain how the previous missionaries in that area had made a complete mess of everything and really offended a lot of people in the ward, but my brother and his companion had gone in there and really turned things around. She just kept saying 
"I love your brother, he is such a sweet guy!"
I had to ask "you're talking about the black kid, right?" ha ha! Just wanted to make sure we were talking about the same Elder Kjar....I couldn't believe that my brother, so humble and inexperienced had gone in there and completely turned a ward around and changed things for the better.
I guess it just goes to show that when you're on the Lord's errand, doing all that you can to do what is right, he will fill in the gaps and produce miracles.
The woman and I sat in awe for a few minutes just going back and forth about how crazy it was that she just so happened to be in my exact city at the exact place where I work at this exact time. I seriously couldn't believe it. 
I was stunned.
What an incredible tender mercy!!!
If I haven't said it enough already...It really is a small world after all!

Love both of these boys! :)