Foodie Pen Pal November Reveal!

This was the first time I participated in the Foodie Pen Pals  program and it was really fun! FPP is run by Lindsey at the The Lean Green Bean and she does a great job.  Basically you get paired with someone and agree to send them a package of food items. You have to ship by the 15th of the month and post a reveal at the end of the month. I was paired with Millie from Georgia. Millie contacted me because I was a loser and took too long, and after a few e-mails back and forth I sent her a package.

If you are interested I list what was in Millie’s box at the bottom of the post.

I don’t believe that Millie blogs, but she did send me this lovely note!

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I was so excited to get my box in the mail and Millie did an awesome job!

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Just look at all this yum!

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Angus is intrigued.

All these were new to me, except of course for the Lara Bar. I was very excited to try all these snacks!

Snapea Crisps:
Honestly these weren’t my favorite (I have a bit of a pea aversion) but the kids loved them! As in, I had rip them away from my son so my daughter could try them. Anything that can get my extremely picky…er…particular 15yo son to eat veggies is a very good thing!

Zico Coconut Water:
This was chocolate flavored which I wasn’t sure about but it was yummy! I poured a bit for the kids and it got the thumbs up from my oldest, who said it tasted like YooHoo. The boy didn’t like it but that didn’t surprise me. The youngest daughter refused to try which also didn’t surprise me.

Kind Bar in  pomegranate blueberry pistachio:
We fought over this, it was awesome! Will definitely be buying more of these!

Lara Bar in Cashew Cookie:
My fav! This one went on my trip with me 🙂

Crunchmaster Multi Seed crackers:
The youngest daughter enjoyed these a bunch! She took these on our road trip 🙂 The other s liked them too, and so did I but we let her have most of them. I did steal a few for my pub cheese though, and they were delicious!

Justin’s Nut Butters in Maple Almond and Chocolate Hazelnut:
These were yummy! I had never had them before and am glad I got to try them! Oldest was happy because hazelnut/chocolate and youngest was happy because gluten and dairy free. Son wouldn’t try them. He was being a wet rag about trying new things, except for the Snapea Crisps. I don’t understand that kid sometimes! But hey, more for the rest of us!

Thank you so much Millie! We had a blast with the box you sent!!

Now the deets:

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-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
– Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

Millie’s box contained the following:

Bar Harbor Soldier Beans
Wicked Whoopie Pie (mint flavor)
Lara Bars in cashew cookie and apple pie flavor
Moxie
Annie’s Kettle Corn
Maple Candies similar to these
Walker’s Shortbread

(I forgot to take a picture…oops!)

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Tree in a Jar

I really wanted to do another Mason jar craft. After looking over Pinterest I decided on this one:

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from Seeing Ink Spots.

However when I went to assemble my supplies I realized I was out of the big mason jars. I did have little jelly jars though. No problem, I’ll just make a little tree!

Here we go!

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Since everything was going to be in miniature I decided to skip the spool base and attach the tree directly to the cover. I was going to use epsom salt for “snow” but apparently the bag I had of it is gone. Plan B was to make some spider web snow cover. I also dug out the silver glitter hairspray which I planned to spray the “snow” with.

First I cut some trunks from the silver pipe cleaners and branches from the green ones.

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Then I attached the branches to the trunk…

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and attached it to the cover.

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Then I covered the inside of the cover with webbing snow…

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and sprayed it all with glitter, including the inside of the jar.

I had to trim the tree. Trim as in cut the branches not decorate them. The snow is all bunched up from the cover being screwed on.

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This is it with the cover on.

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Yah…not so cute.

I like the idea of this, and I’m sure it would have come out better full sized. I may actually try again when I have a bigger jar and more pipe cleaners but for now? Definitely a fail.

Disney Wrap Up

This will not be a craft post. No cooking either. Why? Because the daughter and i just got back from Disney World. Daughter had a great time. She also has autism and food allergies which makes traveling difficult.

In this entry I am going to let you all know how that went for us!

It’s my blog and I’ll do what I like.

First of all let us speak of the Disability Access Pass.

Here it is:

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As you can see, we didn’t use it a lot. There were a few reasons for that.

First of all we had magic bands and were able to secure fast passes for all the rides we really wanted to ride ahead of time.

Secondly the park just weren’t that busy. We had wait times of 5min to 20min for the most part (the exception was Toy Story Midway Mania which I will get into in a bit).

Thirdly, a lot of cast members just let us through. So we used it, but it never got written on. This was especially true for character meet and greets (camp Mikey Minnie) and shows (Voyage of the Little Mermaid). I’m sure this had a lot to do with the short lines and the fact the show we went to was only minutes from starting.

We did use it once though, for Toy Story Midway Mania. This is an insanely popular ride and was the longest line we encountered.

Here’s how it went:

We approached a cast member and were immediately sent to a different cast member. This happened almost every time we used the card, it seems that only certain cast members are allowed to sign the cards.

That cast member wrote a return time and also told the time to us verbally. Our time was about an hour away, the on-line wait at that time was 65min.

We grabbed dinner and came back at that time and were then directed to the fast pass line.

For this ride we still had to wait BUT it was about 15min as opposed to 90min for the on-line riders. It worked for us, but I can see where it might be problematic. The cast member did say that the line was a little long for fast pass and that we could wait to see if it thinned out. Daughter wasn’t going to leave the ride again so we waited.

Just as a reference, here is the run down of the rides we rode and the wait times. Sometime the on line wait was so short that it seemed a shame to use fast pass but I will get into that more later.

Magic Kingdom:
Haunted Mansion-FP, OL 10min
Journey of the Little Mermaid-FP, OL  15min
Small World-5min
Ariel’s Grotto-DAP sent us through, OL 25min
Pirates of the Carribean-FP, OL 10min
Jungle Cruise-5min
Tinkerbell’s Magicical Nook-10min
Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride-10 min
Splash mountain-20min (I would have used the DAP but daughter didn’t want to leave and come back)

Epcot:
The Seas with Finding Nemo-5min
Journey into Imagination-FP, OL 10min
The Land-FP, OL 15min
Soarin-FP, wait 20min, OL 55min
Maelstrom-DAP sent us through, OL 15min
Gran Fiesta Tour-5min
Character Meet, Sleeping Beauty-15min

Animal Kingdom:
Kilimanjaro Safari-FP about 10 min, didn’t note the OL wait
Expedition Everest-10 min
Kali River Rapids- FP, no wait,  didn’t note the OL time
Dinosaur-FP no wait, not sure of OL wait
Camp Mickey Minnie-DAP sent us through

Hollywood Studios:
Toy Story Midway Mania-DAP 20 min, OL 90min
Voyage of the Little Mermaid-DAP sent us through, show in 5min (apparently that what they do, give you are return time 5-10 minutes before the next show)

The longest wait we had was waiting to get into Be Our Guest for lunch, that was 45 minutes! It was easier though because one of us could stay in line while the other took M to check out the “Belle stuff” in the nearby store or to get a drink or use the bathroom. Plus the line is entirely outdoors so not so tight.

We had the magic bands with fast pass plus and so were able to pick out 3 fast passes for each day (all in the same park) and link them to our bands. This was great in that we were able to pick our top three and make sure we got on them. It was bad in that we ended up using them for rides we didn’t really need them for. Yes, you can change them, either using a phone  app or at the kiosks at the parks, but we found that it’s difficult to find a new ride with passes available and the app acted up for us. For instance; we got to Epcot and found that there were no lines at The Seas so we elected to not use the FP. A cast member told us we could change it so after we got through we tried to do that. The app wasn’t cooperating so we had to either change time or attraction. The only other attraction available was Journey into Imagination so I chose that and then tried to change the time to see what else was available during that time. No other times were available.

Whop whop.

We ended up going to JiI and just using the FP for that, even though there was a very short line. Not that I’m complaining, not needing to use fast passes is a good problem to have!

Now, onto the food!

Disney is well known for being sensitive to those who have food allergies and our experience definitely reflected that.

First some pictures!

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Be Our Guest-Magic Kingdom
Carved Turkey Sandwich, no condiments (there were some she could have had but she doesn’t like them) and pommes frites.

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aglan Road-Downtown Disney
Special GFCF Fish and Chips (omg good, I kept stealing bites)

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hef de France-Epcot
Roast chicken (no sauce), roast potatoes, broccoli (which she didn’t eat, we supplemented with cucumbers).

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ak and Yeti-Animal Kingdom
Burger with GFCF buns, shoestring fries

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BC Commissary-Hollywood Studios
Allergy free chicken tenders and fries.

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verything Pop Shop and Dining-Pop Century Resort
GFCF waffle available and specially prepared, served with bacon. We added banana because the fruit that came with was strawberries which M doesn’t like.

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arle of Sandwich-Downtown Disney
Grilled chicken with a side of cucumbers. We supplemented with a fruit cup.

In most cases the chef would come out and show us what she could order off the menu. They were also willing to modify things when possible but M always picked something offered. There were a few exceptions; at Earle of Sandwich we spoke to the manager who handled it for us. At Be Our Guest the ordering kiosks have filters for allergens and cast members will help you order. We tried everything she ate and the food was VERY good.  The bread was excellent! The only thing was she ate a lot of fries. This was due in part to preference, she loves fries! Also, she hates cooked veggies to the point of aversion. We tried to counteract this by getting her fruit for snacks and breakfast and getting sides of carrots and cucumbers whenever possible, We mostly ate breakfast in our room from brought food (M had Glutino toaster pastry, Chex cereal and fruit to chose from) but did have waffles that one morning.

Cork Christmas Tree

This was one of those pins that just led back to a picture. I didn’t even pin it so I had to go on memory.

Basically it looks like wine corks were cut on angles and attached together so they look like a Christmas Tree. I figured I could handle it so I raided my mom’s stash of wine corks and set myself to the task.

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First I cut the corks and let me tell you, cutting cork is NOT easy! The boy helped me, and he’s no slouch, and it still took forever and a lot of arm strain. Eventually though, we got it done!

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The edges of the corks in the picture were nice and smooth. Mine were all nasty and jagged. Of course, that may have had something to do with the fact that I used a dull knife…

Anyway…then we glued them together so they made something vaguely tree shaped.

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I didn’t have any gems to decorate like the original so I got out the mod podge and the glitter.

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I put gold glitter over the top so it was the “star” and brown glitter on the bottom because it was the tree stand. Clever, huh? Don’t answer that.

Here is a picture that shows the glitter better.

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Sorry it’s so blurry.

I think this came out pretty well! It’s very “rustic” but that’s OK. From what I remember it looks like the original, except not as polished. Then again, with me making it did you really expect polished?

 

Glitter Dino

OK…truth is I saw so many people make these Glitter Dinosaurs for the Pintester Movement that I kind of felt left out.

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Then the boy decided to clean his room and discovered a whole tub of plastic dinosaurs he didn’t want. It was fate, I snitched me one and got to glittering!

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First the dark parts…

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then the lighter bits…

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Then I gave her a beautiful Christmas manicure!

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Of course I forgot to screw the dinosaur before I started this makeover but I’m sure I can screw her later.

I feel like one of the cool kids now.

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DIY Christmas Book Ornament

This is my contribution to the Christmas Pintester  Movement. The Pintester Movement is run by Sonja Foust of the Pintester blog. Sonja is awesome and hysterical and you should go check out her blog. It will change your life, especially if you find dirty jokes amusing and enjoy penis crafts.

pintester-movement-200 Yay me!

This time we were supposed to make a Christmas ornament! If it turned out we didn’t need anymore ornaments or didn’t decorate for Christmas, no worries! We were invited to send our ornament to Jodee at Cheeseblarg.

I was actually pretty excited about this one and went to town pinning ideas to my crafting board on Pinterest. In the end I decided on this lovely ball.

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DIY Christmas Book Page Ornament from Diary of a Fit Mommy!

I decided to put my own spin on it by making it Harry Potter themed. The first step was to get me some ornaments. This turned out to be easier said then done. I had to try three different stores before I could find ornaments that were ball shaped, smooth and any color vaguely related to Harry Potter. They were all either ridged, funky shaped or funky colored…or part of giant economy packages of eight bazillion balls. Since I wasn’t willing to go into debt for this project, I kept looking. Who knew it was so hard to find smooth, normal balls?

Anyway…I eventually found a package of silver ornaments for $5 and some cute little blue bows (Ravenclaw FTW!) and got down to business!

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As you can see, some of my balls were shiny and some were matte. I chose a matte one because I wasn’t sure what the Mod Podge would do to a shiny ball.

The next step was to cut up some book pages (sob). Luckily (?) I already had a mutilated copy of The Sorcerer’s Stone to work with from my washer necklace project. I pulled a few relevant pages and sliced them up.

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The instructions call for Elmer’s glue but I just pulled out my trusty Mod Podge! I also decided to attach all the strips from top to bottom so they could be read.

Here is the finished project pre-drying…

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as you can see, my sub par motor skills got in the way again and the Mod Podge got everywhere. It’s all good though as it will mostly be covered by the blue bow. I did end up putting a top coat on as well.

After it all dried I attached the bow and hanger and ended up with this:

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Another view:

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I liked how it came out overall and I will be keeping it (sorry Jodee!). The strips of paper are not entirely smooth and I am not sure if it’s because of the Mod Podge for Elmer’s substitution or the placement of the strips. Regardless I am glad I placed them that way because you can read the quotes and it makes the geek in me happy 🙂 As for the use of an alternate adhesive, I didn’t have any Elmer’s so there was no helping that! The ball looks more covered in the pin but I wanted the silver to show through because Ravenclaw.

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And yes I know that Ravenclaw colors are actually blue and bronze but give me a break…after three stores I was happy to settle for movie colors!

Paperbag Gingerbread Man

I am on a mission. A Christmas craft mission.

The first craft I decided to try was the Gingerbread Ornament from Patternpage.com

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I assembled all my supplies and got to work!

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We have paper bags, pencils, sharpies, a cookie cutter (more on that in a bit)  and leftover spider’s web for stuffing. Also the glue gun that didn’t make the picture.

Of course nothing goes smoothly here. The pattern was too big for the little lunch sized bags I have so I had to trace a cookie cutter.

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Next I cut out the gingerbread men and put hot glue around the edges of the two pieces of paper and stuck them together. Then I stuffed the gingerbread man with webbing and sealed up the edges. I didn’t get any pictures of that because, quite frankly, I was too busy burning my fingers and getting webbing stuck in the glue but here is a picture of it all done:

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It was not easy stuffing that sucker and I did not get the glue near enough to the edges so his arms and legs don’t have enough stuffing. If you look closely you can see that we had a little stuffing hemorrhage on the left side of his neck. Also he is very plain.

The example gingerbread man is nicely decorated with ribbon and buttons. I did not have any of that.

I did have some fake holly though…

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although it ended up looking like a Christmas themed clown bow tie. For some reason we decided he needed eyes but turns out they just make him look afraid. I tried to attach some wire to hang him with but, although it worked it does NOT  look good 😦

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So. I ended up with a frightened Christmas clown with flaccid arms and legs whose insides are leaking out and also burned fingers (mine not Holly boy’s).

Fa la la la fail.

At least I didn’t have to buy anything.