black friday 2015 shopping for papercrafters

Chrystina Noel: black friday 2015 papercrafting shopping list

Well, it’s officially that time of year again. I’ve stopped shopping for papercrafting supplies between black fridays because it’s just not worth it (unless you’re going wholesale). I also really love the excitement of going through all the Black Friday ads to see who has the best deals. So today I want to share with you the top 10 items on my papercrafting wish list and where I’ll be getting them.

I only go to two stores for papercrafting on Black Friday – Michaels and Jo-Ann Fabrics. I show up when they open, I shop for what I need, and then I only wait in line for about 5 minutes – because everybody else (at least in Connecticut) doesn’t do the craft store thing at 5:00am on Black Friday.

Also, something you should know. Michaels has a 30% off everything including sale items coupon 7am – 12pm on Friday and Jo-Ann Fabrics has a 25% off everything including sale items coupon from 6am-12pm on Friday.


From the ads the answer to this question is Michaels. 8.5″ x 11″ paper is marked down to 5 packs for $10 (which is what it usually is). That said, Jo-Ann usually has the paper marked down as well, but it just doesn’t make the ad. This year I’m making a rule for myself that I can only buy colors I’m going to use – that means neutrals, blues, greens, purples, and yellows. I’ve learned I don’t actually use reds or oranges.


Stamps are 50% off at Michaels. I’m never looking for certain stamps, but there are are always some that catch my fancy, especially the Hero Arts stamps. And try really hard not to buy stamps for a specific occassion, because they won’t get used all that much, try to stick to the ones that can cross between birthday, holiday, and just because.


I find I’m always running low on Sharpies. I never know how it happens or where they end up. Kind of like hair ties. Michaels has buy 1 get 1 free on all of the Sharpies. Plus the 30% off, that’s kind of glorious. I’m specifically sticking with black, gold, and silver this year. Hm. Actually I wonder if they make a white one too.


I’m on a mission for foam adhesives, double sided tape, and the adhesive tape gun roller refills. Michaels has buy 1 get 1 free on all adhesive refills. That said, I have no idea what that includes. Either way, the 30% off coupon at Michaels trumps the 25% off one from Jo-Anns.


I’m never actually looking for embellishments either. I might buy some for the Chrystina Noel Christmas Party this year though. In that case Michaels has 60% off all Recollections embellishments and 40% off all the other ones.


I’ve decided I’m going to make fabric door stoppers stuffed with rice and beans for the windows in my house. They let so much cold air in and these seem easy enough to make – and then I can custom measure them. So I’m going to be going to Jo-Ann Fabrics for fabric (of course). As for whether “the good fabric” is on sale, I have no idea.

Mason Jars

I wasn’t looking for mason jars, but Jo-Ann Fabrics has them on sale for 71 cents each. How am I not supposed to leave the store with at least 5 of them. I have no idea what I’m going to do with them, but I want them, so here we are.

Cutting Tools

I need new blades for my papercutters this year. Usually I buy a bunch of punches (as seen in the photo above), but I think my collection is finally saturated. That said, Jo-Ann Fabrics has 60% off all Fiskars cutting tools, which is incredible. If you’re looking for a place to start the corner-rounder is my absolute favorite. Followed behind my the circle punches and small hole punches. Remember, this also includes really awesome scissors.

Washi Tape

This was the first thing I wrote on my hand-written list, but I’m not sure which store I’m supposed to get it from. I was really banking on it being on sale, but it doesn’t appear to be. So I guess the answer is Michaels? Or maybe somewhere online will have a good sale. Either way, I am seriously in need of new washi tape if anybody knows where to get it.

Oh, also. If you ever need to buy envelopes. I’ve decided my answer to that from this point forward is Amazon where I buy 500 at a time. What’s on your shopping list this year?

PS. Want to celebrate Christmas with Chrystina Noel? Come hang out with us Sunday, December 13 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm at Williams-Sonoma in Philadelphia. Get your free ticket here.

one down, one up

2015-11-20 one down, one upone of the only pictures I took this week, still on my iphone

It’s been another week. I spent the majority of this week being both bored and itchy, let me tell you, it’s not a good combination. My life also feels remarkably similar to how it did four years ago at this exact time, it’s weird how things come full circle – just started traveling for the first time again, don’t really feel like either place is home. The holidays are upon us and somehow I just want them to be over already. I just want to get back to normal life, whatever that is.

one down
As I said, I spent most of the week itchy. That’s by far my down. When you’re literally uncomfortable in your own skin, nothing else good can happen. Between a faulty bikini wax, the fabric softener on the sheets at the hotel, and the feather pillows nothing was safe. Going to go buy some more hydrocortizone on my way to work today because I realized that the one I have expired in 2010. Hopefully I’ll be back to normal soon.

one up
I had Nickelodeon in my life this week. I’ve been staying at hotels for the past month and somehow none of those hotels have had Nickelodeon. So I got to stock up on my Full House and Friends episodes this week, which was absolutely glorious. Room service and Nickelodeon, pretty much my favorite.

one random
I didn’t realize until proofreading this post that I mentioned wanting things to be back to normal twice. I’m pretty sure the complication here is that I’m transitioning back to a new normal, and I don’t quite know what that looks like yet.

the 5 best compliments I’ve ever received

the best compliments I've ever received

You know how there are some things people say to you that just stick. Sure, there are definitely some negative comments that linger around for far longer than you want them to, but there are also some really great compliments that linger around as well.

In thinking back over the best compliments I’ve ever receive I realized they came from a variety of places and sources. Not only that, but some of them definitely weren’t what I expected them to be. (Nor are they I’m sure what you’re expecting them to be.) But to each one of the people in my life who gave me one of these compliments, thank you, they’ve meant a lot to me over the years. And apologies for paraphrasing.

“You know, I actually believe her”

This one is definitely the most obscure. There was one day of high school where I ended up driving a friend and her boyfriend from point A to point B. They were in the back seat of the car. I remember them joking about me being their driver and them saying they were going to have some fun in the back seat (just kissing, no funny business) and I, without skipping a beat, shrugged my shoulders and said, “hey, you can do whatever you want back there, doesn’t bother me at all”. And the boyfriend looked back at me in my rear view mirror and said partially to me, partially to his girlfriend, “you know, I actually believe her.”

Granted, they didn’t end up doing anything, but the fact that he had only known me for a few hours and already a) felt comfortable enough with me to that he could be himself and b) understood my “you do you” attitude – meaning, who am I to judge what you do? – was awesome.

“If you get an idea, you actually follow through with it”

For my 25th birthday I decided I wanted to write an individual letter to everybody who came to the party. It was a pretty big undertaking, but it was something that really meant a lot to me. There are so many times that I host a party and feel like I don’t even get to connect with the people I invited, this was one way for me to ensure I was able to connect with every person with there, even if somehow I didn’t get to talk to them.

About three hours after I got the idea I had already typed up a little note to everyone and had sent them to be printed at FedEx. I spent the evening at the hotel bar folding them and writing names on them. My friend sat there and helped me do this and as she was folding and I was cutting them said, “if you get an idea, you actually follow through with it,” followed up by a “most people don’t do that.” That’s something I try really hard to do, always follow through, and it was nice for that to be recognized.

“You really kept up, Cappello”

This one is also a little obscure. Three years ago a group of four coworkers and I went to a first birthday party in Atlanta. Between the five of us we had two cars, and I stayed in control of one of them. (I’ve learned I feel much less trapped in life when I have car keys.) The day of the party I was in the “following car” on the way to the venue. Whoever driving the first car wasn’t giving me any regard – not watching to see if I was behind before going through yellow lights and weaving through traffic on the interstate. I was able to keep up and dodge in and out of traffic with the best of them. At the end, one of my co-workers looked at me and said, partially amazed, “you really kept up, Cappello.” And somehow it always feels like a higher level of respect when a guy friend calls you by your last name. Bro-status, anyone?

“You really can write”

I’m sure I’ve told this story somewhere on my blog before, but now’s the time to tell it again. In high school we took religion class (yay all-girls Catholic high school). One of the big parts of religion class senior year was writing reflection papers. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a consolidation of thoughts on a specific subject. I remember the day that I wrote the reflection paper on sex before marriage, I had left it on the counter when I got home and my mom ended up reading it.

The first words out of her mouth? “You really can write.” Apparently all these years my mother thought I couldn’t write. I had no idea. But in that moment I realized that the type of writing that best suited me was very conversational writing. Probably why blogging has really stuck around in my life.

“I didn’t know what to expect, but you’ve been a great asset to our staff”

My junior year (4/5 years) of college I decided I didn’t want to be an RA for the year. I was offered a position as the RA of an all-girls wing in a freshmen residence hall. First of all, I worked way better with upperclassmen than I did with freshmen, and second of all, I went to an all-girls high school, I know exactly what it means to be the RA of an all-girls wing, no way was I taking on that drama. So I declined the position. I think I shocked a few people, especially because they felt like they had done me a favor by putting me on the same staff as one of my friends, but I knew it wasn’t the right option for me. (Let it be known: it is never worth it to be an RA just for the money. Specifically if your University actually has strict rules on meetings, being on duty, and how many events you need to host a week.)

My senior year I applied to be an RA again (that’s right, I had to apply again), not only that but I got waitlisted. About two months before school started I was finally offered a position, still of a freshmen year dorm, but this time it was co-ed and it was all college of media arts and design students. This sounded like a fun adventure. So I said yes. At the end of the year my ADRD looked at me and said (paraphrased), “I didn’t know what to expect when you joined the staff, but you’ve really been providing great guidance, listening at staff meetings and providing great feedback and questions at the end, and have really done a great job bringing the learning community together.” And that was so incredibly gratifying. I took a year off, did what was right for me, and then came back to the table and went out with a bang while providing guidance to RAs younger than me. I would call that a win.

How about you, what are some of the best compliments you’ve ever received? Are they what you expected?

celebrating like dad

Hi friends! Today is a big day of celebration! Why, you ask? Because today is my dad’s birthday! It’s one of those milestone birthdays too, so it’s kind of a big deal. So in honor of his birthday (and while still brainstorming what I’m going to be doing for mine this year) we’re going to talk about 4 ways you can celebrate your birthday, Chrystina’s dad style.

Dad's Birthday 1

Play with Toys

What does this mean for my dad? Flying his drone, driving, using a new camera, or installing some new piece of technology somewhere (think Mr. Dink from Doug). I mean, he’s the reason we all ended up addicted to N64 in the early 2000s – and Ms. Pacman.

Buy a New Toy

This is why my dad is so hard to buy gifts for, because if he wants a new toy he’s going to go buy a new toy. (You can read these two posts on how impossible he is to buy for here… and here.) So think about something you’ve really been wanting, and splurge because it’s your birthday.

Dad's Birthday 2

Bake a Cake

My dad’s dad was a baker, so my dad actually has some pretty legit baking skills from back in the day – my favorite cake he makes is his German Chocolate Cake. Although his vanilla bean rice pudding is pretty delicious as well. Find a new recipe or something you’ve really been craving and make it happen.

Treat Yourself

I’m pretty sure I get this from my dad. I find it completely acceptable to stop on the way home from work to buy a cupcake, a hot fudge sundae, or some bubble tea. (He’d probably pass on the bubble tea.) But my dad and I are two of the few people I know who are on a first name basis with the owners of their favorite cupcake shop.

Dad's Birthday 3

Play a Game

So, my dad hates board games. He finds them boring. No pun intended. That said, he definitely appreciates a thought-provoking game of chess, an afternoon at the bowling alley, or a round of Tiger Woods Golf. Choose a game, find a partner, and make it happen.

Go to Dinner

This comes with the treat yourself category. My dad has a favorite restaurant in every city he’s ever been to, we’ve purposely sought out some pretty specific restaurants over the years – The Magic Time Machine and Houston, TX; Red, Hot, and Blues in Maryland; and Jekyll & Hyde in New York City. And if you’re wondering what his Philadelphia restaurant is? It’s Moshulu.

Dad's Birthday 4

Plan a Trip

I’m pretty sure this comes with the Life of a Consultant territory. My dad was a consultant, now I’m a consultant – traveling is what we do. If there’s somewhere you want to go, book a trip! (Which my dad has definitely done with or without any companions – props to him for solo traveling.)

Aside – I remember when I was around 12-years-old and I had slept through my parents going to breakfast on vacation and my dad told me I should go down and get breakfast alone because it said a lot about a person if I could go eat on my own without any company or entertainment. So I did. And from that day I’ve never thought twice about heading to a restaurant to eat alone.

Take a Nap

I mean, I did say it was a milestone birthday, right? Just kidding. I think this sounds like a glorious way to spend a birthday. What I would give for a nap most days. And if it’s your birthday you can even continue to hog the television while you’re taking that nap, otherwise it’s poor form.

And that’s it, 8 birthday ideas inspired by my dad. Dad, I hope you get to do all of them today.

Looking for other ideas to celebrate your birthday? Check out my newest free e-book, Themed Party Ideas. It’s full of over a dozen ways to celebrate any occasion and exactly how to execute it.

Themed Party Ideas Cover