Sunday, July 21, 2019

First Disney visit in a while - New Rides and Experiences

These are some really long breaks (for us) for visits to Disneyland. Our last trip was more than a month ago! And in that time there have certainly been some new additions to Disneyland since we've been gone. Let's go!

National Ice Cream Day!

Happy National Ice Cream Day!
Yes it's an official thing. Back in 1984, Ronald Regan designated July as National Ice Cream month and the 3rd Sunday of July as National Ice Cream day!

We celebrated it at Disneyland!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Celebrating the 50 anniversary of man walking on the moon with Moon Oreos

This weekend is the 50th anniversary of man's first walk on the surface of the moon!
We're getting into the celebration with Marshmallow Moon Oreos!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Goal Completed! All 12 Disney Parks around the World and in less than 12 months!

I've been behind on getting out some trip reports because we've had a couple really big trips. Really big like 2 weeks long with lots of stops. In my previous Tokyo trip report, I went into so much detail it was a bit ridiculous, and these aren't going to be any different. 
Looking forward it's been daunting to start. But now it's time to get started. In the coming months, we'll dig into the details.
To commemorate the whole thing, I made a couple fun things. First, a giant picture collage. In it, we're posed in front of all the major icons from each park. I want to get this printed large and framed.

And second, I was surprised Disney didn't create something like this already. I wanted passport stamps for each park. Something simple to commemorate a visit to a park.
I couldn't find it, so I made it myself. A little bit of photoshop skill plus some tips and tricks from a good tutorial. There you go, 12 custom passport stamps, representing each Disney Park.

After the jump, I'll provide some of the files I used to create that passport above.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Happy Slurpee Day! 7/11

This family certainly loves Slurpees. And every July 11th we celebrate Slurpee day with 9 million other Americans.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-Fil-A

We love Chick-Fil-A and when Cow Appreciation Day comes around, you can be sure we're going to celebrate!
Chick-Fil-A has been celebrating this day for 15 years now, every June 9th, giving away a free entree to anyone dressed like a cow. Last year they gave away nearly 2 million entrees!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

2019 Pasadena Chalk Festival murals

There were 200+ murals at the Pasadena Chalk Festival with over 600 artists. Presented here, mostly without comment are a bunch of pictures I took.

Shaina Joel putting the finishing touches on Iron Man.

Kurt Cobain.

Friday, June 21, 2019

2019 Pasadena Chalk Festival - Silent Auction

One of the biggest ways the Lightbringer organization raises money during the Chalk Festival is through the silent auction. During the festival, each artist is provided chalk, drinks, snacks, breakfast, shade, etc, plus a 12"x12" canvas. In return for all that, artists are asked to do something with that 12"x12" canvas and return it back so it can be auctioned off, with the money going to the Lightbringer organization. From what I overheard, the silent auction brings in around $10k!

You're free to paint whatever you want. It doesn't have to be related to your final mural. But in my case I knew we had something good going on. This is going to be nearly identical to our final design.
And it only took Ruston and I a couple hours do to the 3'x4' one in the driveway. How long could a tiny little 12" canvas take?

Thursday, June 20, 2019

2019 Pasadena Chalk Festival - Day 2 and Awards! - 2019/06/16

Time for Day 2 of the Chalk Festival!
Lots of stuff going on today, including Awards at the end of the night! Make sure you read to the end to see how that went.
Let's get started!

Monday, June 17, 2019

2019 Pasadena Chalk Festival - Day 1 - 2019/06/15

The day is finally here! Time to reveal our mural and our costumes!
Our mural is going to be a very bright and colorful Disneyland castle. I couldn't think of a better costume to dress up in than a Disney Plaid Tour Guide. They're very recognizable by almost anyone who has been to the parks. The outfits came from Amazon. The name tags and Disney D pins came from eBay. Simple enough! Because the weather was so nice, I was able to convince Ruston to go all out with me and wear long sleeves and dress pants. If the weather didn't cooperate we would have swapped over to shorts and t-shirts instead of these dress clothes. And we're going to wear them the whole day while we make our mural!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

2019 Pasadena Chalk Festival - Spot Selection, Artist Dinner, and how we came up with our mural idea

It's Thursday and it's just a few days before the 2019 Pasadena Chalk Festival. Today artists from all over will come pick their mural location and enjoy an artist party where they get to hang out with all the other artists. Let's dive right in!

Come see us at the 2019 Pasadena Chalk Festival!

Come see Ruston and I this weekend as we participate in the 27th Annual Pasadena Chalk Festival! Our Herbie from last year even made one of the banner advertisements!

We'll be drawing on Saturday and see how far we get. The weather looks great! Will we be wearing costumes again this year...? Check in next time to see!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Star Wars - Galaxy's Edge Black Spire Outpost

After years of waiting, and the loss of our beloved Big Thunder Ranch BBQ, Petting Zoo, and Festival Arena, the replacement is finally open! It's the Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Black Spire Outpost.

Our story begins A long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

Finally! A Disneyland visit!

Seriously, it's been 6 weeks since we were at Disneyland. It's been so long that perhaps we're going to need a map. Today we're starting over in California Adventure to get a bunch of rides in. And maybe even a couple brand new rides...

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Practicing for the 2019 Pasadena Chalk Festival

Normally we wouldn't wait nearly this long to practice for the Pasadena Chalk Festival, but things got busy and now we've only got a week to go! The chalk festival is always on Father's Day weekend!

Ruston, Jacob, Theresa and I have been attending since 2011, but back in 2015 Ruston and I decided to stop being attendees and start participating ourselves!
2015 - Ducktales (Winner - Best New Artists)
2016 - The Iron Giant
2017 - The Jungle Cruise
2018 - Herbie (Winner - Most Humorous)

This year we're keeping with the Disney Theme and making a very colorful castle.
Before the event, we like to get together and do a 1/4 scale drawing to get a feel for how to do everything again, and see where we might run into challenges when the big day comes.

And one of the things I learned is that I need better support for my time-lapse camera, so it's not moving all over the place while I'm trying to film.

Friday, June 7, 2019

A really fun week in Michigan - 6/2/2019

We had a really fun time in Michigan for birthday parties, graduations, and more. Here's some of the stories of what happened between all the other stories.

Happy National Donut Day!

You know we can't just let a day like this pass by without celebrating it somehow, right?

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Giant graduation party for Abby and Aubrey

It's been a fun week in Michigan and this graduation party is the big finale. People have been preparing for this for weeks now, but more on that later.
Now that they've both graduated, Aubrey last night, Abby last week, it's time to have a party!

Friday, May 31, 2019

Congratulations on graduating Aubrey!

It's been a fun week in Michigan and we've got even more celebrating to do. Abby graduated last Friday, and this Friday it's Aubrey's turn!

And it wouldn't be a graduation if there weren't a bunch of people to help celebrate with her.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Happy 70th Birthday Celebration Richard and Chi!

Happy 70th birthdays Richard and Chi! Since we're in Michigan and they used to live in Michigan, a party was planned with all their friends.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Ian loses his first tooth!

For the past couple weeks now, Ian has had a wiggly tooth. And any time you look over at him, he's usually wiggling it. Finally on this trip to Michigan it started getting really loose.

Read on for the rest.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Congratulations on graduating Abby!

Congratulations Abby!

We've got lots of people here to celebrate with you.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Bugles Taste Test

We certainly love our taste tests and we've got another one already.
I happened upon a whole bunch of different Bugles flavors, not only the regular savory ones, but also some interesting looking sweet flavors too.
The kids were excited, telling us how they were going to eat some Beagles. No, not Beagles guys. Bugles. I know they're a favorite of Theresa's too.

There's 7 flavors to try. Original, Bold BBQ, Nacho Cheese, Hot Buffalo, Churro, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Caramel.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

S'mores Oreo Taste Test

According to reports, this summer Oreo is releasing 4 new flavors. Oreo has separate releases for each of them versus releasing them all at once. The first of which is S'mores Oreo! Later flavors will include a Baskin Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip, Maple Creme, and an Oreo Thin Latte Creme.

Rater than wait until August to try them all at once, we're tackling them one at a time.

I like the packaging for this one with the camping tent. And I like how Oreo did the layers of the creme. There are two separate horizontal layers of creme. One marshmallow and another chocolate, and they both have different textures. That marshmallow texture is really gooey and sticky like a marshmallow.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Orange Vanilla Coca-Cola and an Orange Cream Soda Taste Test

After 12 years, Coca-Cola recently announced a brand new flavor. Orange Vanilla Coke!
It wasn't a question of whether we would be trying it. It was a question of what we would be trying it with. A friend suggested pitting it against other Orange Cream sodas and I thought that was an excellent idea.

I was able to find 4 other kinds of Orange Cream sodas, plus I couldn't help but get the original Creamsicle bars that these are trying to imitate. Let's get tasting!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Revenge of the 5th

You can't celebrate Star Wars Day on May the 4th, without also celebrating Revenge of the 5th. 

Saturday, May 4, 2019

May the 4th Be With You

May the 4th Be With You today!
It's Star Wars Day and we've got to celebrate!
Our hats of course are all Star Wars themed. Theresa and I have a Wampa hat and a Yoda hat from Disneyland. Ian and Alli are wearing really cool hats from Tokyo Disneyland. Ian's got a Rebel Pilot plush hat and Alli is wearing a plush Darth Vader hat. When I set the hats out for everyone to pick, she was quick to grab Darth Vader. Why did you pick that hat Alli?
Alli - I like Darth Vader. He fights bad guys.
Um, Alli. Darth Vader is a bad guy.
Alli (shocked) - What?!?

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

2019 Lay's Turn Up The Flavor Chip Taste Test

In 2013 there was Chicken and Waffle, Sriracha, and Cheesy Garlic Bread.
2014 brought Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, Cappuccino, Mango Salsa, and Wasabi Ginger.
2015 had West Coast Truffle Fries, New York Reuben, Greektown Gyro, and Southern Biscuits and Gravy.
2016 showcased Chinese Szechaun Chicken, Brazilian Picanha, Greek Tzatziki, and Indian Tikka Masala.
2017 had Everything Bagel with cream cheese, Crispy Taco, and Fried Green Tomato.
In 2018 there was an incredible 12 regional flavors. West Coast Truffle Fries (returning), Thai Sweet Chili, Chile Con Queso, Fried Pickles with Ranch, Bacon Wrapped Jalepeno Popper (returning), Fried Green Tomatoes (returning), Deep Dish Pizza, Cajun Spice, Ketchup (returning), Pimento Cheese, Chesapeake Bay Crab Spice, and New England Lobster Roll.

Now it's 2019 and Lay's is mixing flavors and music. There's Wavy Electric Lime and Sea Salt (inspired by Pop Music), Flamin' Hot Dill Pickle Remix (inspired by Hip Hop), and Kettle Cooked Classic Beer Cheese (inspired by Rock and Roll).

A Spring Break Trip to Florida - Disney Springs

Continuing our Spring Break visit to Florida, next we went to Disney Springs! I have to say, I do like the parking garages here now. The flat parking lot didn't have near enough spaces to park.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

An Ohana day plus the first ever TikiLandDay at the Disneyland Resort

Happy Sunday! It's going to be a fun time at Disneyland today.
First, we're in an Ohana kind of mood this week. More on that after the jump.
Plus it's the first ever TikiLandDay at Disneyland. Read on!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Pop-Tarts Cereal and Pop-Tarts Bites

Never one to pass up a new taste test, I saw these on the shelves of the grocery store and picked them up.
For me, Pop-Tarts are never something you have when you're eating breakfast at home. They're always something that's an out the door afterthought and usually raw. Now there's two new offerings. A Pop-Tarts cereal and new Pop-Tarts Bites. Both came in Frosted Strawberry and Brown Sugar Cinnamon, so of course we've got to get those regular Pop-Tarts to taste along with them.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Egg Hunt

It's been a very busy day hunting Easter Eggs already, but we're not quite done yet.
The kids spent the morning combing the Disneyland Resort, finding eggs at Downtown Disney, DCA, and Disneyland. Now it's time to find them at home.

2019 Disney Eggstravaganza - Disneyland

It's the last of our 2019 Disney Eggstravaganza Egg Hunts. We've been to the Disney Store in our local mall, Downtown Disney, California Adventure, and now we're wrapping everything up with the hunt at Disneyland.

2019 Disney Eggstravaganza - Disney California Adventure Park

It's time for the second of the three Disney Egg Hunts we're doing today. The first was in Downtown Disney. Now we're in Disney California Adventure Park.
All over the park there's lots of these photo ops, but this is the only place we saw 4 eggs all together. A family photo is a must.

2019 Disney Eggstravaganza - Downtown Disney District

Happy Easter, or rather Hoppy Easter, from Disneyland! Today is the day of our big Disneyland Easter Egg Hunt!
Earlier we'd done the Disney Store Magical Egg Hunt Adventure in our local mall and now it's time to head to the Disneyland Resort and take care of all the rest!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Meeting the Easter Bunny at Disneyland and getting interrupted by Cruella de Ville

The kids adore the Easter Bunny and Disneyland gives them to perfect opportunity to see him. And you never know what kind of surprises await you.

Dyeing Eggs for Easter

It's almost Easter! Time to dye Easter Eggs!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Peeps Cereal

As we were wandering the grocery section of Target, I saw these staring at me. Peeps is making a cereal! Peeps is making a cereal!
I love Peeps. Soft marshmallow covered in granulated sugar. What's not to like about that?

Pink chicks, check. Blue bunnies, check. Let's eat!