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!

When You Stop Believing in Santa, You Get Underwear!

Hopefully, you still believe and undies won’t be under your tree on Christmas morning! And for those of y’all who have little ones that wait for Santa to come down the chimney or use his “special” key for the front door, I have something fun and easy-peasy to make for Santa’s reindeer. It’s a sack of¬†“Magic Reindeer Hay”. We made these several years when our daughter was little. Right before bedtime, we would put Santa’s cookies and milk on the table by the tree and¬†went outside to sprinkle food for Rudolph and the rest of the gang!

Magic Reindeer Hay

All you need is a lunch-size brown paper sack, some scrapbook/construction paper, and hay. Ribbon is optional. You can either print off the poem on a printer or let the kids write it with crayons or markers.

Poem and directions on tag on the front of the sack:

Magic Reindeer Hay

It’s the night before Christmas,

Santa will soon be here.

We give cookies to Santa

Now let’s feed his reindeer!

Directions:

On Christmas Eve,

Just before going to bed,

Sprinkle the reindeer hay on your lawn.

Jump into bed and quietly listen for Santa.

For he and his reindeer will soon be here!

Mr. and I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and hope you get everything you wish for!

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!

Christmas is Coming: Whether I’m Ready or Not!

Aaaaggghhh!! Where has the time gone?!?! November has come and gone and Christmas is less than three weeks away! AND I DON’T HAVE MY SHOPPING DONE! I am usually done waaay before¬†Thanksgiving, but for some reason I have really dragged my feet this year.

So who has all their Christmas decorations up? I’m not raising my hand, are you? We do have our tree up though.¬†We have always in the past put our tree up on Thanksgiving night, but since we were going home to¬†Oklahoma to spend Thanksgiving with our family, Mr. and I put it up the weekend before Thanksgiving. It was so nice to come home to it already up.

While we were in Oklahoma, my mom and I went shopping for her a live tree. I love live Christmas trees! Our tree is a fake pre-lit tree, and I think it is on it’s last trip out of the attic. This is either the fifth or sixth Christmas we have had it and it’s gone through two major moves. Therefore,¬†half of the lights didn’t come on this year. So we did what we had to do and strung several strands of lights on it. On a pre-lit tree!!! ūüôā Need to add a few more ornaments and it will be done! Next year…this girl is going to have a real tree again!!

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In the past I have put several trees up, but I am only putting one tree up this year. (I keep telling myself this¬†over and over) Two years ago, I put up nine trees! All a different size and all decorated different. Although, I may put two on the front porch, but that doesn’t count since they won’t be in the house. Right?

I also started decorating our mantel. I absolutely love it! And for those that follow me, you know that turquoise is my favorite color.

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But I think it’s still missing something. Maybe?¬†I’m just not sure what.

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I still want to make a centerpiece for the dining room table, decorate the entry way table, and make the front porch festive. AND get one of the spare rooms upstairs ready for my mom who is spending Christmas with us! At this point, neither spare¬†room has a bed and both are full of stuff! But all is well….as I work better under pressure!

Hope everything is beginning to look like Christmas at your house!

Christmas Lone Star Wreath

My friend Susan and I went to the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market last Friday in Houston. It was the first time I have ever been to it and I have only one word…Awesome! Disregarding the thousands and thousands of shoppers and the $4.75 bottle of Diet Coke, it was still…Awesome! So many vendors and so much merchandise! I bought¬†a metal “V”.¬†Not sure where I’m going to display it, but for now I have it resting on the mantel in the living room.

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There were TONS of Texas items. (this being Texas and all) Things made from Texas license plates were a big hit. And plenty of Texas Lone Stars! So since this is our first Christmas in our new house in Texas, I decided to make us a Christmas Lone Star wreath.

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I was almost finished with it when Mr. reminded me that I didn’t take any pictures while I was making it¬†to show y’all the process. But it’s really easy! I found all the items needed at Hobby Lobby. The star is metal and has a frame that goes completely around it. So all you have to do is wind¬†your greenery around the frame and attach it with floral wire. Add the ornaments, decorations and ribbon. Make yourself a bow, attach it, and…Viola! One Lone Star wreath ready for hanging. I’m still thinking about adding a string of battery-operated lights to it. That way you never have to worry about the cord hanging down or making sure you hang it by an outlet.

I am sooo ready to decorate for Christmas, but I’m making myself wait! (although Mr. has already started wrapping the trunks of the palm trees with lights) The countdown has begun and we are only 14 days away from Thanksgiving and 14 days away from decorating!! Woohoo!