Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Man Crates + Memories

There's something about autumn that brings old memories to the surface. I don't know what it is, but there's just something in the air that makes me want to rifle through the photo albums and watch home videos, and just... reminisce.

So when I was contacted by Man Crates to do a post about what it was like to grow up as a nineties kid, I was really pleased, because now I had an excuse to talk about it.

And then after I was contacted, I did some Man Crate stalking and discovered what an awesome website it is. I mean, they have some of the coolest gifts for men for when you're stumped about what to get the men in your life, and it all comes neatly packaged in this crate.... (most of which need to be opened with a handy-dandy crowbar. A crowbar! How perfectly manly. How cool.)



It took me a little while to think of what to say for this, because let's be honest here: I didn't really grow up as a nineties kid. I've always felt that my family grew up as more... fifties kids. We didn't play video games, we didn't use the internet except for email, and not one of us had a cellphone for ages.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing! I'm grateful to have grown up playing outside and getting dirty rather than spending all the time staring at a screen of some sort.

And when I think about it, I notice that there's a lot of stuff that's changed a lot.

So, let's make a list! I like lists. Here's a list of things that I vividly remember about growing up.

1.) Walkie-talkies. Remember those bad boys? You felt like the world's most spyish spy, hiding behind stuff and talking covertly into the speaker, like, "Agent Teresa reporting to base, over. The water balloon has been thrown. Mission accomplished, over." (And they always made that delightful static sound right before you pushed the talk button: KSSHHHHT.)

2.) Polly Pockets. I know these aren't only from the nineties, but that's when they were at their climax. I'm not talking about the inch tall dolls, no, I mean the ones that were only a little bigger than your thumbnail.

We had the gypsy caravan one for a long time, even after the horse and the dog got lost, we still had the carriage, and I played with that one all the time. I wonder what happened to it.

3.) Freaking BOBBLES, man! Those things were so evil. (It didn't help my mom liked to do our hair really tight, and sometimes the bobble would escape and smack your head like a plastic mace-and-chain from hell.)

4.) You know those stories where all the neighborhood kids get together and play baseball in someone's back yard or a vacant lot? That actually happened a lot when I was growing up. We had those cheesy yellow wiffle bats, the rubber bases, and we'd set them in our yard and have a grand old time playing baseball. (Obviously with some rule changes, like the youngest kids weren't out until they at least clipped the ball. Strikeouts didn't happen when you were three and could barely lift the bat.)

And let me tell you guys, I was good. (Want to know the story of how I broke my elbow in several places, resulting in lots of pain medication and a surgery when I was eleven? I was the outfielder.)

5.) Jumanji. My dad used to watch this movie a lot, and it's been seared into my brain as the scariest movie of all time.

It got me to swear off all board games for a good six months, because those game pieces moved by themselves, and it was alarming.

6.) American Girl Dolls. Every single little girl ever wanted one of these. Or all of them. We wanted all the dolls' accessories, and we'd literally spend hours pouring over the magazine and drooling.

7.) Oh remember when cap guns were cool? When you could get them and they were metal and actually looked real rather than the stupid clear or orange plastic ones you can sometimes find now? And they came with holsters and belts and that little roll of caps that smoked a little when you shot them...Man, we used to play with those a lot. We'd have Cowboys VS Indians wars, and we'd be Indiana Jones-type people who'd rescue the orphans (AKA the youngest girls) from the evil Orphanage Lady (usually portrayed by yours truly).

I don't know. There was something special about about staying outside all day long. We live in a pretty good neighborhood, and I would be on my bike and up the street with the kids from the block as soon as I finished breakfast.

We'd build forts, and have mud pie making contests, and compare calluses, and it was so much simpler.

Kids were allowed to be kids, we were allowed to get dirty, and actually play on playgrounds. We'd play hide-and-seek and all sorts of tag, we'd see how many times we could jump over that stupid Skip-It toy...

The world was a lot more wholesome than it is now.

It was an awesome way to grow up!

And I miss it.

 So, questions!

*What was your favorite toy as a kid growing up?
*What was one game you played all the time? 
*Did you ever play with cap guns? 
*Have you checked out Man Crates yet?
*Do you like the new blog look?

Love you all!


  1. SO OH MY GOODNESS YES. I relate to so much of this. Like, walkie talkies????? YES. We would clip them on when we were biking and play cops and robbers. That was awweeessooommmeee. AND BOBBLES. YES. THEY WERE EVIL. And my mom would put my hair in braids before I went to bed because my hair would get so tangled and I would cry when she tried to brush it out because it hurt so bad (tender head, man), but she would put them in the bobbles and then I would roll over on them and be like PAIN. AND WIFFLE BALL. All the time. And that is how I broke my arm, so I feel ya. XD And cap guns were the bomb. XD

    Okay answering questions:

    *What was your favorite toy as a kid growing up? Ummmm. I'm going to go with dolls or our dollhouse dolls (and yes, they are separate things, because dolls are the big ones and dollhouse dolls are the mini ones.) We played the most epic games with them. And we made a ton of our dollhouse dolls and a ton of the food and furniture and stuff and yes. It was the best.

    *What was one game you played all the time? Cops and Robbers.... Native Americans (there was this whole year of homeschool that we learned all about all of the Native Americans and we were obsessed)..... Agents (that was awesome). I realize that was not one but yeah.

    *Did you ever play with cap guns? Yes. XD Though we did not actually get them as often as we wanted them. A lot of times we had the guns and no caps. But we also played guns with golf clubs, our fingers, and hangers.

    *Have you checked out Man Crates yet? No. XD I had never even heard of it until this day.

    *Do you like the new blog look? YES I LOVE IT OH MAN. The header is so great. And I like the grey. :-D Fabulous job. :-D

    1. WOW OKAY!
      Walkie-talkies were the best thing since sliced bread. Phsssh, nah, cops and robbers or cowboys and indians.... I've always had a thing for cowboys, they were haaaaawt. lol.
      BOBBLES! Like mom would make them so tight, she'd literally be grunting when she tried to loop it over, and UGH it snapped back so painfully, like OUCH. (I'm very grateful I do not have a tender head, sometimes we'd put in those overnight curlers that you had to sleep in, and it was just... not... fun.)

      Thank you.

      DOLL HOUSE DOLLSSS. Okay, I have a confession. My favorite toys growing up were the ones my mom made. She makes these beautiful cloth dolls with pretty dresses and curly hair, and I had one growing up named Laura Ann. (Mom hated her because she had a giant nose and mom thought she looked like Barbara Streisand.) But also, I got into fairy making, and I made tons and tons of little dolls with wooden bead heads and pipe cleaner bodies and... and we'd make fairy houses out of the lilac bushes and yeah... GOOD TIMES.

      .....(We never called them Native Americans. They were injuns and and we loved to pretend to be them.) but yeah! WE'D LURK AROUND AND HAVE WARS AND IT WAS FUN.

      Same here, with the cap guns. They still clicked without caps, but it was more fun when they smoked. I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO MINE BUT I WANT ONE BACK. ALSO SAME. And one year, we got rid of some kitchen chairs and my dad took them apart for firewood... but the big old long back legs were the perfect shape for rifles, and I got to be *such* a good sniper lol.


      AWW yay. I wanted people to like it. I like the grey and purple accents. It makes me happy.

  2. Oh, those American Girl dolls! I saved up like $80 at the age of 10, and got the Nez Pierce girl (Kaya). I promptly ruined her hair.

    Spending all day outside is really the best thing. The rules in Summer (unofficial of course) were that if you could get outside before Mom caught you, you could get out of doing school. We live on a farm, so being outside meant catching tadpoles and playing in the lush garden. Those are the best memories. :-)

    Also, Treskie, did you change the format of your blog?

    1. I SAVED UP FOR THEM TOO, OHMYGOODNESS. (I never saved enough to actually get one though.) My sister found a perfect Addy at a thrift store one time, and she got it for me for christmas. I cried.

      It issss. Unfortunately, ,we did not have a big enough yard to have a lush garden or tadpoles... but we had sprinklers and that was close. Best memories indeed...

      Yeah, a little bit, I rearranged and did some color switching. What do you think??

    2. I like the rearrangement, it looks cleaner and it is easier to find stuff. I like the added drawings at the top too, that seems very representative of your blog and what you are doing with it. Plus, they are very pretty, so you know, that makes everything better. :-)

    3. Yaaaaay, that's what I was going for! *dances everywhere.* thank you!!

  3. This was a very nostalgic post. Like for reals. I mean I never played baseball...hated it...but I played Croquet so does that count? My sister and I used to be obsessed with it and play it every Sunday afternoon. And Risk. To this day it's my favorite Board Game. Probably the most memories I have are playing Risk and Hide and Go Seek in our front yard (with an epic ditch as "base") once it got dark. That was da best.

    I don't think you have to have grown up playing video games to be a 90's kid either. I didn't, but I still consider myself one.

    Oh and don't forget the Blue Raspberry flavored EVERTHING. Ah yes.

    Love the template.

    Now I'm gonna go listen to Owl City's Unbelievable because...90s.


    1. Aw yay! That's what I was going for! :) .... You...... hated.... baseball....? SHUN! SHUN THE NONBELIEVER! SHUUUUNNNN. Haha, we played croquet too... once in a while. I don't know what Risk is... is it like Jumanji??? Hahaha, our Hide and Seek base was an out door bench by the fence lol. :)

      ..I consider myself a nineties kid, because... we lived in the nineties until like 2008 lol.


      Yay, I'm happy people like the template. I'm satisfied with it. ;)

      THAT'S UNBELIEVABLE HAR HAR. see what I did there?


  4. Aww, so much reminiscing in this post. :') I REMEMBER SO MUCH OF THIS STUFF!! I wasn't on the internet until I was 16 (I didn't even have an email until then. XD) but I wasn't really an outdoorsy kid? I read, sewed stuff for my dolls, did school, reenacted the Colosseum with Mime and we "killed" each other a lot. YA KNOW. Normal kid stuff.
    But omg, I remember cap guns!! I STILL HAVE MINE. The handle broke, but it was all silver and looked kinda real (apart from the orange cap) and I felt badass with it, just sayin'. And yes to American Girl. AND I'M AUSTRALIAN SO THAT'S WEIRD. Mime was obsessed with the dolls, I was obsessed with the books. XD
    Never did the bobbles thank goodness, although we owned them.
    I think you had an amazing childhood. ;)

    1. All the reminiscing was done lol. REALLY!?? COOL.

      OKAY I got an email address when I was 13 and it was dramaqueenusa, and I felt very grown up. We had to ask permission to get on the internet though, and then it was only like.. maybe an hour .
      I think I was an inbetween kid. I liked doing inside stuff too. Drawing was always a big deal, and.... I only ever sewed by hand. THAT IS AWESOME THAT YOU KILLED EACH OTHER A LOT!
      CAP GUNS!! (I'm not gonna lie, I always pulled the stupid orange cap off so... the gun looked more real. (I did too. :) I WAS ONLY OBSESSED WITH THE BOOKS FOR A SPAN OF LIKE 3 MONTHS, AND THEN I FINISHED THEM. AND GOT BORED. LOL. I loved the illustrations though, they were amazing.
      You didn't miss a lot. Ugh,. haha.
      I think I did too, lol. Besssssst.

  5. Ah, good times. Remember when you could run around screaming without having people look at you funny?
    *What was your favorite toy as a kid growing up?- stuffed animals were pretty cool. You could play with them, toss them at people, or scrunch them up and use them as pillows.
    *What was one game you played all the time? - 'the director game'. Weird game we invented. One of us was the director and gave all the other kids roles to play, like at the theater. If you were an unruly actor you were assigned the role of the 'nose hair'. I don't know how or why.
    *Did you ever play with cap guns? - I don't think I knew what they were before now.
    *Have you checked out Man Crates yet?- Hey! Awesome!
    *Do you like the new blog look?- Yes I do. Very nice.

    1. I do remember being able to scream without people telling you to be quiet that, was nice.

      *That's a good point about the stuffed animals, I never really used them, because *I* had a cloth doll that my mommy made me. :)

      * .......Seems like awkward thing to be a nose hair. HOW DO YOU EVEN ACT THAT??????????? lol.

      * you missed out on a lot, not playing with cap guns. *They smoked*

      *Right? I thought so!

      *Aww thanks, I'm glaaaaaad. :)

  6. I'm too lazy to answer all of your questions, but Man Crates look hilarious and awesome, and remind me of Art Of Manliness. XD

    AND OH MY YES I LIKE YOUR NEW BLOG LOOK Especially the header, and your profile picture is so purdy and yes, I like it. XD


      Yaaaaaaaaay! I'm so happy people like the new blog look!!!!!!! (Hehehe, that proflie picture looks way better black and white than it does in color lol.) Thank you!

  7. # 3 - I don't think I have actually used it for hair as I didn't really like it plus, it does have that hit-in-your-face or anywhere problem but I remember though I'm not really a nineties kid

    #5 - Jumanji scary? I didn't think so but then again, I saw it as an adult so maybe that's why.

    and yes, love the new look to your blog, it just feels like a happier place maybe it's because you had dark dray before and I've always dislike dark colors as background. quite a pleasant change you might say.

    have a lovely day.

    1. 3.) Yes well... bobbles were cute and all, they just... they were mean. haha.

      5.) It's not as scary *now*, but when you're like 7 and the lion comes out of the game, and the mosquitoes are so big they could kill you, and the game won't let you stop playing... that's scary for little me! XD

      Woot! I have a little trouble with changing stuff, so I was worried that people might not approve of the new look, but yes! I wanted to lighten it up, because much as I love gray and purple it was a little... dank. So yeah. lighter colors, now. I'm glad you like it! :)

  8. You know what I remember that you are probably too young to remember? Popples. Those funny little creatures in horrific colours that could fold up into themselves? Here:

    Actually, now that I look at them, I kinda want one again. They weren't so bad. I loved 'em, growing up.

    (Those Man Crates are cool. I like. The crowbars are a nice touch.)

    1. You keep bringing up popples, and you're right, I don't remember them. lol. Maybe you could get one for christmas or s something.

  9. I AM TOTALLY A NINETIES KID! Being born with 2 months left in 1999 counts, right? (Please say yes)

    I actually grew up with almost all of these things, despite growing up in the early 2000's.

    Walkie-talkies are amazing. I still love them, and I feel like a five year old, but they are fantastic. AND BOBBLES!!! I would beg my mother to put them in my hair, but I have a couple of hazy memories of them whacking me in the head very hard.

    We played kickball and capture the flag a lot when I was younger. We never had cap guns though, at least not that I know of...


    ~D. Skye <3

    1. Hahaha! i'll give it to you. XD

      Same thing with my younger sisters, so you're not alone being a nineties kid in the 2000s lol.

      YES THEY ARE STILL AWESOME THANK YOU!!! Urrgh, Bobbles. I have a love/hate relationship with them because they're SUPER cute, but they're also super mean, and... yeah.

      Kickball was the game we played when no one wanted to play baseball. (I've never actually played capture the flag... WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE?!) Wow, you missed out with no cap guns. Best. Toys. Ever.

      THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE IT.

  10. Yes! I love the new blog design! It's awesome. I love the header and how you put some of your drawings up there.

    Walkie Talkies! Man, we played with those all the time (though I'm not sure how since they barely lasted a week). We lived in a small mobile home though. It was kind of cheesy. We'd hear each other a few feet from each other and also hear each others' voice over the talkies. XD BUT what was really fun, was when my parents bought some higher end walkie talkies and we used them at theme parks and in the mall (because we didn't have cell phones "back in the day").

    Cap guns are awesome! Though I have to say Nerf was a little more popular in my house. But even more often our "guns" were a bunch of sticks we'd gathered from the woods.

    One of my favorite things though was that we really did play outside a lot. And most of the time we didn't need toys for our imaginations to take flight. At most we had a bicycle. We live in the country and don't have any neighbors. But we biked or walked all over our property and tried not to trespass (you know those old cartoons where trespassers are shot, we were smart enough to not to let that happen XD). We'd play Revolutionary War and pretend to have high tech computers and bazookas and explosives to protect our fort with. It was the greatest!

    1. Woot! I'm so happy people like iiiiiiit. (The header took for freaking ever, omygoodness.)

      ........Really? Ours lasted a lot longer than that. I think we might have a pair that still work! (Our house wasn't that big either, and we had lots of people living there, so we had the same problem of hearing too much lol.) WE USED OURS IN THE MALL AND STUFF TOO, WHAAAAAAAT.

      I've never owned a nerf gun... but one time I was babysitting and the older boys were teasing their youngest brother and shooting him, so I stole all their bullets, and then I stole their gun, and they tried to hide in the rafters and then they were sitting ducks.... I found it really fun. (sticks too, though. Best use of imagination.)

      Yeah... i've always wanted to have a bit more land than we do. It's just nicer. Neighborhood's grown a lot though, and it's full of vacation rentals and summer homes, and all our vacant lots have been built on, so the younger girls don't know what it was like to grow up playing in the woods all day, which makes me sad. (I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO AVOID GETTING SHOT BY PEOPLE WHO DON'T LIKE TRESPASSERS.) Aaaah it sounds like you had as great a time as I did. *dances*


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