Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

November 2, 2011

Little Monkey won tickets again this year from Radio Disney to go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! Big Monkey ended up having to work, so I asked Little Monkey who he wanted to invite to go with us. His first pick was Mimi and his second pick was Uncle K. Uncle K ended up buying one more ticket so that Aunt S could come along too. She REALLY wanted to go.

We headed over to the park a little early because your party ticket (7pm-12midnight) can actually get you in starting at 4pm! We got to ride quite a few rides before the actual party began. Little Monkey loved having everyone come with us. This year, Little Monkette was tall enough to ride on the race cars. She LOVED it, so much so, we had to make her get out when it was over. Lucky for her we were able to go on the ride again later.

Little Monkette and Mimi on the race cars.

Just before the candy started flowing, we took a ride on the carousel. Little Monkette enjoy it as well. We had to wait awhile for the ride and she kept telling her horse to giddy up! Little Monkey liked it too and when the ride ended he was stuck WAY high in the air on his horse!

One Happy Cowboy! (and one blurry pic!)

Getting candy was one of the fun parts of the night. Little Monkey was very good about spotting the balloons that let us know where the candy was. We filled our bags up over the course of the evening, some even twice! (Little Monkey brought me his first full bag and said, “Mom can I dump this in your backpack so I can start over?” I let him and he was so excited.) He and Little Monkette loved eating the candy. Little Monkey was very good about trading out candy he knew he couldn’t have. After gathering quite a bit of candy, we had the kids pose for some pictures in their homemade costumes. It took some bribing for Little Monkette to wear her hat but Mimi did a great job offering her candy to wear it. She finally agreed and we got some good pictures. :)

My Jessie and Woody!

Thanks to a nice family, we managed to snag some great seats to watch the parade. It was so much fun to watch the parade through Little Monkette’s eyes. She loved it! She kept leaning under the rope to see what was coming next. I had to keep pulling her back to make sure she didn’t trip any of the performers! At the end of the parade they handed out Mickey head lollipops. Little Monkette immediately wanted to eat one. Since she still needed to wear her costume on Halloween, we changed her shirt in an effort to try and keep it clean (She had already gotten some candy mess on it!).

We rode a few more rides while waiting for the fireworks, including a second trip on the teacups! Both Little Monkey and Little Monkette loved it. I was so surprised!

She looks a little nervous but she was loving it!

We watched the fireworks from the bridge and then decided another ride or two might be in order to avoid the massive amounts of people that were leaving the park. Just before leaving the park, we waited to meet Buzz and take pictures with him. (We tried to take some pictures with Woody and Jessie at their dance party  but it wasn’t really happening.) We found our way back out of the park and to our cars. I was certain the kids would be out almost immediately from all the walking and craziness of the day. I was WRONG! They were awake all the way to Mimi’s house and then almost all the way home. I could hardly believe it. We got home around 11:30p and they went right to bed. Much to my amazement they both got up very easily in the morning to head to school.

Thanks again Radio Disney AM 990 for giving away tickets for the party (They have no clue I’m writing this…it was not a requirement of winning…We just wanted to tell you all about our fun time and say thanks!)

Fried Pickle Chips

July 7, 2011

My mom recently went on a trip with my dad and some friends on a road trip to a few restaurants from the Diners, Drive-ins and Dives show. They had some yummy fried pickles apparently. A few days after they returned, my mom posted on her Facebook status that she really wanted some of the fried pickles. I decided that since I was going to go spend some time with my mom for a few days, I would make her some fried pickles and take them to her. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I didn’t get them made before we got to the beach, so we made them today. Aunt K was over and I brought all the ingredients with me so we got to work during nap time.

I found this recipe online at CopyKat. It is supposed to be a copykat of Hooters Fried Pickles, which is not where mom and dad had them but I figured the recipe would probably work okay.

8 cups vegetable oil
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
11 ounce jar hamburger dill pickle slices (I bought the wrong kind of pickles!! Whoops!)
2 cups buttermilk

Heat 8 cups of vegetable oil to 350 degrees in a large pot. (Next time I plan to do this in the deep fryer, but we don’t have one at the beach house.)
Drain dill pickles in a colander and then place in a medium sized bowl with the 2 cups of buttermilk.
Place all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
Take a few of the pickles out of the buttermilk and dredge into the seasoned flour.

Buttermilk dip and flour dredge

Shake off excess flour and place pickles into hot grease.

Pickles cooking in the grease.

Don’t cook too many pickles at once or they won’t fry up crisp.
Fry pickle slices until golden brown.

Finished Fried Pickle Chips

Had I bought the right kind of pickles…these may have been better. Mom said they were okay…well actually I think she said something more like, ‘they aren’t horrible,’ but that’s alright. Aunt K liked them and it was a fun little afternoon project in the blah beach weather.

Pillow Sham Makeover

July 1, 2011

My Mom recently bought new bedding for the beach house and sent me an extra pillow sham that she had. She wanted me to make it into a long skinny pillow with the word “beach” on it. That was about all of the direction she gave me. I did send her a “proof” of the font but then I ended up changing the size of it before I was done.

I started out with the pillow sham and stencil letters that I printed from my computer. (I forgot to take a before picture, so all I have is the after.) I had planned to use solid color fabrics but I didn’t have the colors I really wanted on hand. Since I have a LOT of fabrics, I decided it was best to just use what I had and find something that would work. I found some patterned fabrics that I liked and decided to go for it. I cut all the letters and ironed them on. Next I did some stitching around the outside of each letter. Once I finished, I sewed along the side and bottom of the pillow sham where a stitch already existed. This made for a nicer finished outside. (At least I think so.) I filled the pillow up with some fiberfill (not quite a full bag-it was what I had left after using some for another project) and then sewed the open side closed! Finished pillow sham makeover!

Welcome to the beach!

The coloring seems a little off in the picture but I think it turned out fun. I’m excited to see it at the beach house!


Mom’s Birthday Gift

June 21, 2011

I saw this picture in my folder and realized that I never shared it on here. No time like the present, so here we go!

Amy and I saw some different ideas of Beach Themed Subway Art online and decided that Mom would like something similar. In my experience of making Amy’s Running Subway Art, I have learned that it can be difficult and time consuming, though worth it. Amy decided that we could probably design it in PhotoShop and then have our friend Kasey cut it in vinyl with her fancy machine. Then they used another fancy machine to adhere the vinyl to some fabric we bought. It worked out great. I love how it turned out and can’t wait to go to the beach house to see it on the wall!

Beach Rules Subway Art

We stretched the fabric around a painting canvas and stapled it to the back. Happy Birthday Mom! Hope you love your new “Beach Rules.”

Rosette Headband

June 17, 2011

These rosette flowers have been everywhere these days…but I have just gotten around to making some. My sister-in-law, K, asked if I could make her a headband with flowers on it. (First she thought I made Amy’s headband one night, but I had not. I told her what I thought I could do and she liked the idea.)

I offered to make her one as part of her birthday gift. She was very happy with that idea. I took some pink t-shirt fabric I had left over from cutting up a shirt for a twirl skirt (I haven’t even finished that skirt either.). I got to work with some fabric glue and twisted, wrapped, glued, etc until I had three rosettes. I let the fabric glue dry and then hot glued the flowers to some felt. I cut another piece of felt and hot glued the headband in between the new felt piece and the felt piece with the rosettes.

Pink Rosette Headband

I hope that K will like it. It was my first time making the rosette flowers and making a headband. Okay I bought the headband piece and attached the flowers to it…but you know what I mean.

Headband on my head (It is hard to take this kind of pic!)

I also made another rosette headband for a friend. She likes Florida State and I’m working on updating a skirt for her. Since I hadn’t finished the skirt yet, I decided to make her a headband real quick to tide her over. :)

FSU Rosette Headband


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Shrek the Musical

May 18, 2011

A BIG thanks to our favorite radio station, AM 990, Radio Disney for providing us with a great family fun night on Tuesday! Little Monkey LOVES listening to Radio Disney and often they give away some great prizes. A few weeks ago, Little Monkey called in and won a family four pack of tickets to go see Shrek the Musical on opening night! (The very next day–our friends called in an won a family four pack too!) We were able to get our seats all together for the night of the show.

Little Monkey with our tickets after we picked them up from Radio Disney!

I told Little Monkey about the show and explained how it was the story of Shrek, like we had seen on the dvd but that this time it would be with real people. He wasn’t quite understanding the difference, so I showed him some pictures from their site. He was very excited about it and even more excited that Mimi, Aunt K and our friends would all be coming too. (Big Monkey had to work and Little Monkette stayed home with a sitter.)

I informed Little Monkey that we needed to dress up for this show because it was a bigger deal than just going to the movies. He decided to pick out his guitar tie, which we paired with a button down shirt, dark jeans and converses. We got to the theater and Mimi had arrived just before us. We were a bit early and Aunt K wasn’t there yet, so we hung out outside for a bit. While we were waiting, Little Monkey really wanted to touch the water that was flowing in this fountain nearby (He saw other people doing it and thought he should too.). Mimi finally took him down to check out the water and after, they sat at one of the tables. I was able to catch a few pictures of them conversing before they noticed I was taking pictures.

Private conversation with Mimi.

Once Aunt K got there, we decided to go inside so we could go to the bathroom before the show started. We were still a bit early, so we walked around checking things out. We found this big box with Shrek’s logo on it and put Little Monkey up on it to take a picture of him. He really wanted us to buy him a Shrek ears headband but was okay with it when we told him know. (Although I have to admit the Princess Fiona ones were super cute!)

Ready for the show!

We found our seats and the kids all wanted to sit together. I wasn’t sure that was the best idea but in the end, they moved around some so they could see better. (Little Monkey ended up on my and Mimi’s laps during the show.) Before the show started the kids looked through their Playbills for the shows. Little Monkey was so funny. He said that he was going to keep the list of the cast with their photos out during the show so he would know who was who. :)

Little Monkey with his friends!

Shrek the Musical was a fun show. It was definitely a great show, for both the kids and adults. Just like the Shrek movies, there are jokes that only the adults will get. It was a late night but all the kids did a great job and stayed awake for the entire show! (Little Monkey was out cold no more than five minutes into the car ride home though!) Thanks again AM 990 Radio Disney for the tickets!

Middle of April?!?!?!

April 11, 2011

It is almost the middle of April and I haven’t posted even once yet! How did that happen?!?!?! Well, there are a few reasons….but mostly I have been getting ready for a craft show. I have been doing lots of sewing and when I’m not sewing, we’ve been outside playing a lot, trying to enjoy the nice weather. I have taken some pictures and plan to share some crafts and other things with you…just as soon as I can find some time to sit down and write! I really like blogging, but it is one thing on my list that apparently gets the shaft when I have a lot going on. I promise to try and get some posts up! :)

Little Monkey’s Lego Cake

March 10, 2011

To go with Little Monkey’s Lego themed party, we, of course, had to have a green lego block cake. I decided to try a recipe from Cook for Love this time. It had very good ratings and Brenda was very helpful in answering my questions before I tried to make it.

Little Monkey was very excited and eager to help out with making his cake. He donned his apron (I made him for his birthday a few years ago.) and got out the step stool. He helped to sift the starches.

Working hard!

It was quite a process to make the cake (but I trusted Brenda has it figured out, so I persevered). Once everything was mixed up and ready to go, we pour them into two small cake pans. They went into the oven to bake and then we let them cool. (They ended up ‘cooling’ overnight while we waited for more time to work on the cake.)

Ready to cool

The next day, we put the cakes in the freezer to help make them more stable for when we cut them up to make the lego block. We split the cakes in half and stacked them together, using a buttercream frosting that we colored green (recipe also on Cook for Love).

Lego Block Base

After the first coating of frosting, we put the cake back in the freezer for a few minutes. We took the remaining fourth section of cake and cut circles out of it to put on top of the base. After assembling that section, we decided we probably should have frosted the circles before putting them on the cake.

Amy helping level out the lego top

After Amy leveled out the lego tops, we got to work on frosting the rest of the cake. It was a little challenging to get those little circles on top covered well. But we persevered and got it done! Mimi had the idea to move the cake onto a piece of Lego road. After we set it up on the road, I grabbed some of Little Monkey’s minifigs and put them in front of the cake. I thought it would be cute if the minifigs were holding up a banner to say Happy Birthday. Mimi helped me out and we constructed a little banner with tape, construction paper, a sharpie and toothpicks! I love how it turned out!

Happy Birthday Little Monkey!

The cake was Little Monkey (and everyone else) approved! It tasted great and Little Monkey even ate almost his entire piece! (This was a big deal for me because with his old cupcakes/cake he would just lick the frosting off the top and then throw away the cupcake. It is frustrating to have that happen all the time, especially with how much work and money it takes for most of his special foods.) Thanks to Brenda and Cook for Love for your hard work in creating great recipes!


Little Monkey Approved!

Happy 5th Birthday Little Monkey!!!

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Patchwork Lilly Hot Pad

February 4, 2011

Amy beat me to the punch by already posting about this gift I made her.

After making a few crafts with some Lilly fabrics, I decided to try out a scrap project that I had found. I saved this scrap potholder tutorial and pulled it up for this project. I did some work and actually ended up scrapping some of it but thankfully still came out with something that was useful. It didn’t turn out quite how I was expecting it to or how I planned it but Amy says she likes it. I’ll take it! Maybe the next try will be better!

Lilly Scrap Hot Pad

Other side

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Book Review: Choosing To See

January 24, 2011

Choosing To See

I asked for this book for Christmas and received it. (Funny I asked for two books…before this I don’t even know the last non-children’s book I read cover to cover!) I was able to pick up this book when we went camping over new year’s and got about half of it read.

Choosing to See was a book that I honestly didn’t want to put down. I wanted to just sit and read it straight through, but even camping, that wasn’t possible. I did try and get some reading in at night and nap time once we got back. It didn’t take much longer before I had finished the book.

It was a great read. Lots of ups and downs, happy and sad, you’ll laugh and cry. I learned a lot about the Chapman family that I didn’t know before (For instance, Mary Beth’s last name was Chapman even before she got married to Steven! How handy was that!). The book shows their amazing faith and strong belief in God and how he will provide in all situations. No one wants to bury their child and they certainly don’t want to have to do so because of the actions of another child.

Mary Beth tells about life before Steven, life with Steven, life with their kids, adopting their three girls and all that comes with it. I was amazed by their belief and faith in God. Not sure why, because of course they have great faith in God, but in the unbelievably hard times they still did and while they may have questioned God and his decisions, they never questioned that he was in control.

I would recommend this book, especially to moms, but really anyone could get something great out of it. I have already loaned out my copy but once it comes back, I would consider reading it again as well as loaning it out more.

Thank you Mary Beth Chapman (who by the way has no clue who I am or that I’m writing this) for your willingness to share your experiences with the world. It was a blessing to read how God has changed your family through every circumstance. From being a SCC fan, it was cool to read about how things came together for you guys back in the day. I remember The Great Adventure-we sang that music with our church youth group for choir tour!


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