Monthly Archives: September 2015

A Very Happy Meal

So cute!

So cute!

I needed a quick, easy, small, cheap meal yesterday before I ran errands and something about McDonald’s just sounded good. It’s that magical combination of hot salty fries and cold sweet Coke, I think. Anyway, I got a Mighty Kids Happy Meal and I was pretty much blown away. Everything was on point–the food, the toy, and the packaging/marketing (yes, I’m a nerd for good packaging and marketing/branding).

First, the box: My meal came in the classic Happy Meal box, made from brightly printed cardboard with a little curved handle made to look like the famous golden arches. Didn’t McDonald’s stop making the cardboard boxes for a while? It seems like they used printed paper bags for a few years, but I could be wrong (or maybe they use the bags when the boxes run out?). Anyway, I got a box this time and it was adorable.

Then, the food: I got six chicken nuggets, a small fry, a drink (I upgraded to a medium Coke), dipping sauce, and ketchup. For a dessert/side, you could choose a tube of GoGurt or pack of apple slices. The apple slices have been around for a while, but the GoGurt was new to me. Maybe I was hungry, but something about this little meal was so good and fun–all the different flavors and textures and temperatures!

Finally, the toy: This is always the best part of a Happy Meal, right? I visited McDonald’s at just the right time, too–it was Hello Kitty time! (If you’re not into Hello Kitty, you could have chosen Monster Jam mini trucks. I have no idea what Monster Jam is.) I was so excited to see the Hello Kitty theme that I opened my toy before I started eating, even though everyone knows you’re supposed to wait until you’re finished eating (right, parents?). Anyway, I unwrapped an adorable little Hello Kitty bobble head doll! She’s wearing a pink dress and matching pink bow and–here’s the kicker–little black MARY JANES! Gah!  Here’s a close-up of the shoes:

Eek!  Little Mary Janes!

Eek! Little Mary Janes!

The bobble-head would have been enough to satisfy me (as a kid or an adult), but the package also included an HK colored pencil and three sheets of mini stationery–it turns out that bobble-head doubles as a (heavy, clunky) pencil topper. But we’re not done yet!

McDonald’s now produces mobile app content to accompany each toy release! I downloaded the free McPlay app and scanned my Hello Kitty doll to unlock a cute little digital coloring book. (You know the type–you tap on the color and then tap on the area you want to color.) I’ve included a couple of my creations below:

Carrots or radishes? I went with carrots.

Carrots or radishes? I went with carrots.

I missed a few spots on this one...

Hmm. I missed a few spots on this one…

How cool is all of this? I’m especially jazzed because I’ve loved Hello Kitty since I was a kid, but I thought all of this was really fun and well done. I looked online and the other Hello Kitty items in this promotion are super cute, too–it seems to be a back-to-school supplies theme. There’s a paper punch, an embosser, a folding ruler, stickers, etc. I kinda want them all. 🙂

I know that Happy Meals are wasteful and cluttery, but I really enjoyed this whole experience. “Experience” sounds like a strong word for a Happy Meal, but that’s really what McDonald’s created here (that sounds cheesy and “business-y,” but it’s true). There was a lot of choice and customization, too. You could choose your entrĂ©e (four or six nuggets, hamburger, cheeseburger), your side (yogurt or apple slices), your drink (milk, juice, soda), and your toy (Hello Kitty or Monster Jam). The entertainment value was good, too, with the coloring app, the doll, and the stationery–and the box had punch-out Hello Kitty drawing stencils to boot!

It’s a good time to be a kid–or a kid-at-heart. 🙂

– Angela

P.S. I’m not being paid by McDonald’s or Hello Kitty–I’m just lame and actually chose to write about this for fun.

Minimalist Cube Dweller

I had one more bag, too. Not bad!

I had one more bag, too. Not bad!

After writing recently about minimalist living in college, I realized that I actually do live lightly in one area of my life: at work!

I realized this last week because I had to move to another desk. I cleaned out and packed up in no time at all, and I was able to move ALL of my stuff in three cloth grocery bags that I could carry at ONE time! #goals

My work happens on the computer, so it’s easy for me to stay fairly “paperless.” I keep a few working copies of current projects and some reference materials in hard copy, but everything else resides on the network. As for personal stuff, I only keep a few items around: a small electric fan, a cup of favorite pens, a mug/tumbler, a cardigan, paper towels, Kleenex, and a few small decorative doo-dads. I bring in a small space heater in the winter, too.

I don’t display any photos, certificates, potted plants, etc., so my cubicle always looks kinda bare, but it doesn’t bother me.  Other people occasionally comment on it, and at one of my previous jobs, a friend actually printed a picture of a cross-stitch sampler that read “Home Sweet Home” and pinned it in my cube–hah!

I’ve know people who have jungles of plants in their cubicles or who bring in entire personal reference libraries, but that just doesn’t appeal to me.  I understand, though, why some people would want to “nest” in the space where they spend most of their waking hours.  I guess I just don’t think of my workspace as truly mine–after all, desk assignments change and jobs change.  I don’t want my cubicle to be too comfortable or welcoming, either, because I want this space to be temporary and transient.  I want always to be heading AWAY from my work cubicle and TOWARD home or my personal projects or my next (and presumably better) job.  (Don’t get me wrong–I really like my current job, but I also really like the idea of working from home or starting my own business!)

It wouldn’t be so bad, though, to bring in a few more things to jazz up my new desk.  I’ll think on it…

– Angela

More Locket Madness

Please excuse the faux leather backdrop. #classy

Please excuse the faux leather backdrop. #classy

Eek! I’m so excited. Per my latest (rekindled) interest, I recently ordered a glass locket and some charms for my mother’s birthday. Everything finally trickled in and it’s all so cute. Here are the charms I got for her (and why):

cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute

cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute

A “Love my cat” charm. Mama’s favorite cat passed away a few months ago. Squealy was an all-gray and all-sass cat, and she and Mama would share night-time snacks of cheese and ice cream. I know that Mama misses her.

Sewing machine charm. This 1980’s-style sewing machine looks exactly like the machine my mom uses for all her sewing projects. The sewing machine was a gift from her father/my grandfather, too.

A “Country Girl” charm. Mama grew up in a rural area, and she and Daddy raised my sisters and me in a rural area, too. The country is the best place to grow up–lots of outdoor adventures!

A Nativity scene charm. My mom loves Nativity sets and has several. She always makes sure that her sets are kid-friendly, because it’s important to her that children can play with the pieces and learn the Christmas story.

“FAITH” charm. Mama’s faith is central to her life.

A letter “K” charm. This is Mama’s initial. 🙂

Diet Coke charm. Mama LOVES Diet Coke. Loves it. She’s probably drinking one right now.

Red & clear crystal hearts. Mama has a very big heart. She’s always helping someone, and she’s very generous with her time and energy. She’s not afraid of hard work or getting dirty, and she’ll wear herself out helping others before she thinks of herself.  She’s especially good at befriending and caring for the elderly, too. She senses their needs and concerns and provides such good care and company.

Cardinal charm. Red cardinals always remind Mama of her own mother. I’ve gotten a few other cardinal items for Mama in the past and she always seems to enjoy them.

It was a bit of a lucky break that almost everything fell into a red, black, white, and silver color scheme!  I just tried to think of charms that represented some of Mama’s favorite things and some of the biggest and best aspects of her personality.  I can’t wait to give this necklace to her! I’m going to package the locket and all the little charms separately (in tiny origami boxes!) so Mama can have the fun of discovering each little piece and putting it all together. I hope she likes it.

– Angela

Yay!

Everything fits! Yay!