Beach Picture Collage

On Valentine’s Day, Mr. and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary! Yes, I made it easy for him to NEVER forget our anniversary! ūüôā

For his present this year, I had come up with the idea of putting together a collage of beach pictures, since we love the beach, water, and everything ocean! So off to the beach¬†I went to¬†take pictures. Funny how that sounds like it was more of a present to me!! An afternoon at the beach…one of my favorite things to do!¬†So I told him I had errands to do, swung by and¬†picked up my daughter and her roommate, and off to Galveston we went.

And four hours later of “running errands”, this is what we ended up with.

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And¬†no trip is complete without¬†pictures of the ocean…

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And this is the collage that I had made for him. He loved it!

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Special thanks to my daughter who did the writing in the sand for me! I had a really fun time doing this with the girls.

Happy Anniversary, Mister! I Love You!

Y’all have a great day! Later gators!

The Votes are In!

And the team that won this year’s Gingerbread Competition is……..Entry #1!

That means that Mr. and I get to display the Hippo Award on our mantel for the next year! Woohoo!!

Doesn’t he look great up there?

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I think he adds just the right amount of pink amid the turquoise! ūüôā

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We had a blast and look forward to next year’s competition.¬†Comments have been made that the other team has already started planning next year’s entry! At least Mr. and I have 12 months to prepare!!

Y’all have a great week! Later gators!

A Few of My Favorite Things!

Decorating gingerbread houses and trash talking are just a few of my favorite things! ūüôā And that’s just what we did this past Saturday!

It’s that time again….our family annual (5th annual, in fact) Gingerbread Competition. If you missed last year’s entries, you can read about them here. Once again, the teams were made up of me and Mr. vs. our daughter and her roommate. We put the entries on Facebook every year¬†and a¬†winner is chosen! If you would like to join in on the fun, you can vote here for YOUR favorite!¬†Or you can follow us on Facebook and vote there. Judge on creativity, innovation, and originality. Entries are allowed one non-edible item, but everything else must be edible. Voting starts today and ends Friday, December 5th, at 8:00 p.m.

A lot is riding on this year’s competition: going into the 5th year with a tie of two wins to each team, we need your help determining the tie breaker! And don’t forget about the Hippo Award!

Both teams started with this gingerbread kit:

Wilton Gingerbread House Kit

And after nine hours of decorating, whispering, and sneaking peaks of the other end of the table’s masterpiece, two ski lodges emerged!

Entry 1: “Marshmallow Mountain Ski Lodge”¬†is a log and rock lodge located near the main ski slope for expert skiers. The weather is freezing, but don’t worry — they’ll keep the sidewalks shoveled for you to build a snowman! The lodge sits behind a frozen lake for convenient ice skating. With a long slope, the lodge is close to a ski lift to carry skiers and snowboarders up the mountain to give them a fast ride back down. Decorated for the holidays with a bright red bow, garland, and gold glitter stairs, the holidays are sure to be bright at this ski lodge!

House – base is constructed of large pretzel rods and gingerbread; mortar is tinted buttercream icing with mixed beans for rock siding; roof is roasted pumpkin seeds; chimney is built out of graham crackers and covered with icing and rock siding; smoke is cotton candy; front door is Wrigley’s stick gum painted with homemade marshmallow paint tinted with food coloring; doorknobs are¬†sugar pearl sprinkles; front porch¬†roof is graham cracker with pretzel pillars; garland around pillars is parsley; stairs are sugar wafer cookies and graham crackers covered in gold sugar sprinkles; non-edible item is bow on the porch.

Shovel – constructed of pasta and painted with marshmallow paint.

Snowman – buttercream icing, painted pasta arms, and decorative gel.

Skiers – Teddy Grahams painted with marshmallow paint.

Skis, snowboards, and sled – pasta painted with marshmallow paint.

Frozen lake – tinted melted marshmallows sprinkled with vanilla sanding sugar and powdered sugar.

Ski lift – pretzel rods, spaghetti noodles, wheel pasta, and Mike “n” Ike candy¬†lights.

Ski lift chairs – sugar wafer cookies.

Mountain РRice Krispies and marshmallow base covered in buttercream icing snow.

Snow – buttercream icing and powdered sugar.

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Entry 2: “Arctic Valley Ski Lodge”¬†is a quaint lodge nestled in the side of the bunny hill of a mountain. With large evergreen trees nearby and a wood pile in the back to keep the residents warm. Skiers, snowboarders, and tubers enjoy the heavy snow before relaxing at the picnic table with a lamp post by the porch to keep the night time festivities lit up into the evening. A small holiday wreath above the wooden door reminds skiers of the holidays as they ring in the new year.

House – base is constructed of gingerbread and Rice Krispies; wood logs are pretzel rods; mortar is tinted buttercream icing with mixed beans for rock siding; roof is Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal; front door is shaved Pocky sticks with pretzel-end doorknob; window is pretzel square; window plant box is shaved pretzels and kale chips; decking and railing are mini pretzel rods; stairs are graham crackers and sugar wafers with icing and beans for rocks; pathway is icing and mixed beans; and wreath is kale chips and Mike ‘n’ Ike candy.

Picnic table – shaved and sanded pretzel rods and mini pretzel rods.

Lamp post – pretzel rods with cut pasta shells and caramel bulb.

Trees – pretzel rods and kale chips.

Mountain – Rice Krispie and marshmallow base with buttercream icing snow and Heath Toffee Bits for rocks.

Skies and snowboards – cut, baked, and food-coloring dyed tortillas.

Tuber’s tube – Lifesaver Gummie candy.

Wood pile – small and large pretzel rods; axe is shaved Pocky stick and dyed pumpkin seed; wood shavings are sanded pretzel shavings.

Sign – handmade non-edible item of wood and paint.

Penguins – sugar-based candy.

Snow Рbuttercream icing and powdered sugar.

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So join in on the fun and help Mr. and I win that Hippo Award!! I already have a place picked out for it to sit on the mantel! ūüôā

Y’all have a great week! Later gators!

Hank Dickensheets!

This is what¬†Stray Cat aka ? has been officially named! I named him Hank. My daughter added the last name. She texted me the other night and told me this is what I needed to name Stray Cat.¬†She and her roommate were watching “Chopped” on the Food Network and one of the chef’s last name was Dickensheets! She thought it was hilarious. So when they were over last weekend, she asked if Mr. Dickensheets had been by. And yes, he has.

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He comes in the morning usually between 6:30 and 7:00 to eat. Then back in the early afternoon. Once again around 4:00-5:00 and then before bedtime. I bought him some treats this weekend and sat outside on the patio and tried to entice him closer. He will get within a few feet of me to eat his treat, but will immediately walk back to his “safe distance”.

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And let me tell you…he has really taken a liken to those treats! Hank now eats his food and then comes to the door and meows for his treats! How can you resist such a cute face?!

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I think we’ve made quite a bit of progress in just a few weeks. He now sits on the patio furniture and bathes¬†or looks in at us through the window.

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Next step is getting him to go into the garage to sleep at night. Maybe a cozy bed in there will do the trick! ūüôā

Y’all have a great week! Later gators!

 

Stray Cat aka ?

Let me introduce Stray Cat. He is the latest addition to¬†our family that I am now feeding! I swore I wasn’t going to feed him, as I didn’t want to get attached to another furry feline. We lost our last furry feline family member in 2009, and I said I didn’t want anymore. It was just too hard. But here I am, buying cat food again!

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He’s very skittish, so that’s why this picture is so grainy. I had to blindly¬†take it through the screen door while I hid behind the kitchen wall with¬†my arm outstretched!¬†We’ve been feeding him for about a week now and he’s doing better.¬†If you walk outside when he’s out there, he will run and hide under the elephant ears but just to the edge.¬†Then he¬†stops and turns around to look at you. Before that, he would high-tail it out of the yard!

We’ve had several strays and shelter rescues¬†in the past that have become family members; and our daughter and my mom adopted their current, furry feline family members from rescue shelters. We are totally pro-adoption, whether adopting from a shelter or from the streets!! In fact, our daughter is participating in the “iWalk for Animals 2014”¬†next month which benefits the SPCA. If you would like to donate on behalf of her walk, just click on the link and it will go straight to their website.¬†OR if you’re motivated, you can sign up to walk in your area!! ūüôā

So for now, I’ll keep feeding Stray Cat and slowly working on getting him use to us. Maybe in a month or so, I’ll have him sitting on my lap! And I guess I should give him a better name than Stray Cat. Any suggestions?

¬†Y’all have a great day! Later gators!

Display the Hippo!

The voting for our Gingerbread Competition is in full swing! At this time, “Christmas Beach House” (entry #1) is in the lead 13 to 4. I love that everyone is joining in on our fun. I also love the trophy that the winners have to….I mean, get to display in their living room¬†until next years competition!

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Mr. and I found the quirkiest Christmas ornament (the hippo) and glued it to the top of a stocking holder. I added some gold letters and¬†viola…the Hippo Award was born! Mr. and I think it’s pretty awesome, if we say so ourselves.¬†ūüôā

You still can join in on the fun and cast your vote. Just leave me a comment over on this post of your favorite entry.

Do you have anything displayed in your living room that really doesn’t go with your decor? Like a Hippo Award?!

Pineapple Tops + Hot Glue = Failure

Who knew that hot glue would not work on a leaf from a pineapple top! We found that out yesterday while decorating gingerbread houses, which¬†is an annual competition we do as a family. This year, teams were Mr. and me vs. our daughter and her roommate! I can’t tell you who had the hot glue failure yet, but will reveal who AND the winning team after Friday!¬†We put the entries on Facebook every year¬†and a¬†winner is chosen! If you would like to join in on the fun, you can vote here for YOUR favorite! Judge on creativity, innovation, and originality. Voting starts today and ends Friday, December 20th, at 8:00 p.m.

We always start out with the same kit and go from there. Entries are allowed one non-edible item, but everything else must be edible. This year’s theme is “Christmas in the Sands”.¬†After 7 1/2 grueling hours of decorating, we were all finally finished!

Entry 1: “Christmas Beach House” – house is constructed of gingerbread; roof is shredded wheat cereal; house is painted with royal icing tinted with food coloring; graham cracker windows; door is Wasa crackers and pretzels; Christmas lights are pieces of Mike & Ike candies; life preserver is a Life Saver candy with ropes out of spaghetti noodles; deck and railings are pretzel sticks; stilts are pretzel rods; palm trees(2) are pretzel rods and shredded wheat fronds; palm tree (1) is Pirouette cookie and fronds are¬†Spearmint gum¬†painted with food coloring; coconuts are caramel bits; sand is brown sugar; rocks around water are Heath bits; water is Fruit Rollup base with blue Jello filling; fish is Swedish fish candy; red surf board is Air Head candy.

And last but not least: the lounge chair was constructed out of shredded wheat cereal.

The non-edible item on this entry is the surf board on the left leaning up against the palm tree.

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Entry 2: “Santa’s Surf Shack” – house is constructed of gingerbread; roof is shredded wheat cereal; bamboo siding is pretzel sticks; door is shredded wheat cereal; life preserver is a Life Saver candy with icing ropes; palm trees are pretzel rods; fronds are leaves from a pineapple top; coconuts and bananas are Runts candy; hammock¬†and beach towels are¬†Fruit Rollups;¬†beach ball is gum ball with icing stripes; surfing Santa is a sucker; surf board is fondant icing; shark fin is graham cracker covered in icing; sand is brown sugar; boulders are brown sugar lumps; water is icing.

And last but not least: the flip flops are carved Pez candies with icing straps.

The non-edible item on this entry is the Volkswagon Bus hauling a Christmas tree.

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Does your family have any annual traditions? We hope you enjoy ours!