11 December 2011

Gingerbread Houses

This year was our 2nd annual gingerbread house party (I was going to call it a gingerbread house making party, but Hubs said that was too wordy). It's pretty easy to put together and it's always fun to see what other people come up with when they're building. I was going to do a post about how to host one of these and give you all of my tips and tricks. I was also going to do that about a week and 1/2 ago. I'm just guessing no one is going to throw together a last minute gingerbread party in the 5 days until Christmas so instead I'll show you pictures of the houses we made and you can email me if you really want the details, ok? :)

Now before you think I'm crazy I spend an entire day making tons of gingerbread, let me tell you we use the term gingerbread house loosely. As in we don't use gingerbread. Graham crackers work great and require zero effort in the kitchen on my part (yay!).

We supply the "gingerbread" and glue/icing and ask each person to bring a bag of candy (or two). This way you don't have to buy pounds of candy and you end up with a good variety of stuff to work with. I made a big batch of royal icing for people to work with. This year the recipe I used wasn't so great and I broke my beaters. Oops. Thankfully it was mixed enough to hold things together. Here's another royal icing recipe I found (it should be better than the one I used since it has almost 5 stars after lots of reviews...I wish I used this one!). You can divide the icing into ziploc bags or disposable icing bags for each person/team.

And now for the pictures...
Um, not sure if this one had a name, but it wins for the tallest!

Grandma's Kitchen - complete with Grandma and pots on the stove

Beargraham Air Base - I think there's a little too much detail on this one for me to explain it all

Not just your standard "gingerbread" house - this one even has a balcony and an open garage door!

Our beach house - on stilts with a fish cooking on a fire out front

And that's our party in a nutshell! I would say I'm taking a little break for the holidays and I probably won't be posting as much, but then I realized I've kind of already been taking a little break and I haven't been posting very regularly the past month or so. So I guess I'm just trying to say don't hold your breath for a post in the next two weeks. We'll be having fun doing family things and I haven't gotten quite crazy enough to take my sewing machine with me on vacation yet! I hope you all have a great holiday!
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05 December 2011

Christmas Mantel

I'm finally here to update my poor neglected blog with a quick Christmas post!
I've seen some pretty sweet Christmas mantels out there lately. Unfortunately our current abode has no mantel or fireplace or anything cool to hang stuff on. I couldn't have our stockings just laying on the floor though so I had to come up with something.

Enter piece of a 2x4. Me and this piece of 2x4 go way back. It's been in the trunk of my car since I moved into my first apartment. My dad and I went to get some slats to put under the mattress on my bed and there were two pieces leftover about a foot and a half-ish in length. And just in case, I left them in my trunk for years. I mean you never know when a piece of 2x4 will come in handy, right?
I was going to spray paint it, but then it got all cold and rainy and I didn't want to go outside and paint. So I took about 30 seconds to sew up a 2x4 sock to slip over it (made of an old black tshirt). And now we have a pseudo-mantle. (Seriously not as cool as a real one over a fireplace but still much better than stockings sitting on the floor)
We also got a tree and decorated it last weekend so the house is feeling quite Christmasy.
Sorry I've been missing for a while, I had a great time with family at Thanksgiving and had so much fun that I managed to come away with only a blurry picture of my cousin (oops). I should have plenty to share with you after Christmas though since I can show you the handmade presents I've been keeping secret. Anybody else have to hang stockings up in a weird way creatively?
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