Monday, August 19, 2019

Taco Bell Chips

Wow wow wow. Taco Bell is making tortilla chips and they're based on their delicious sauces. And I love that the chip bags look just like sauce packets. I've been waiting for a special visitor to join us before we had this taste test. Aubrey is visiting from Michigan and she a big fan of Taco Bell, just like us. 
Today we've got 4 chip flavors to try, Classic, Mild, Fire, and Diablo. Years ago my favorite sauce was the Taco Bell Hot Sauce. And while I love spicy, for some reason the Fire Sauce didn't have the flavor I was looking for. And then came Diablo. Diablo is as spicy and they come, and it's my new favorite. 
Finding those 4 flavors was quite the adventure. And in the process I ended up with a lot of chips. 

Sunday, August 18, 2019

National Fajita Day - August 18th

Today we celebrate National Fajita Day! Started all the way back in 2016 by the world's largest casual Mexican dining brand On The Border Mexican Grill and Cantina, today is the day we celebrate those delicious tortillas filled with sizzling meat, peppers and onions, and whatever else you want to add to it.

And there's even vegetables on it.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Celebrating World Honey Bee Day - Third Saturday in August

It's World Honey Bee Day! What started out as National Honey Bee Day back in 2009, by the US Secretary of Agriculture, has now become World Honey Bee Day! We certainly love our honey. For a while, my parents kept us stocked with honey from their very own beehives!

And one thing this family definitely loves is that bees are pollinators! We wouldn't have nearly as many tasty fruits and vegetables without all the hard work of the bees. Do you think maybe Theresa goes a little overboard on the weekly fruits and veggies? Because we have family visiting it's a little more than usual, but not by much.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

National Creamsicle Day - August 14th

Orange shirt. White pants. That's because it's National Creamsicle Day! We recently had these treats back in May when we did our Orange Cream soda taste test, but this is a good excuse to eat them again. Yum!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

National Filet Mignon Day - August 13th

Now here's a national day that I can get behind. It's National Filet Mignon Day!
Normally I'd have the kids pose with the food, but nope, this one is mine.
We've been fortunate that our nearby Costco and Sams have started carrying Prime beef. Season them with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper and you're all set.

If only I had a charcoal grill these would be perfect. I make due with a wood chip smoker box to give it a nice wood flavor.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Baskin Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip Oreos

Oreo has a lot of fun flavors they've been releasing this summer. So far we've tried Latte Oreos, S'mores Oreos, and Marshmallow Moon Oreos. Just 2 more flavors to go. 
Today we're tasting the Baskin Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip Oreos. 
And whenever I can, I like to taste it with what it's trying to represent. In this case, we're eating it with real Baskin Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream too. 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

It's Sunday! Let's go to Disneyla... Ugh, no let's go to the beach instead

It's a beautiful Sunday morning. Like usual we're headed to Disneyland! T and I got things ready the night before. I figured out our hat theme, T got food and drinks packed up. The next morning we slept in and got to the park about 15 minutes before they opened at 10am. Yikes! Normally Disneyland opens at 8am, but because of the CHOC walk this morning, they're opening 2 hours late. And boy what a mess traffic is.

Instead of all that, we turned around and headed to the beach!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Friday, August 9, 2019

Celebrating National Book Lovers Day - August 9th

We're really starting to get into celebrating the National Calendar Days. And we don't just celebrate the ones that deal with food (though those are certainly fun).
Today is National Book Lovers Day! And yes, we do love our books. Every night we're home, and even most every night when we're on vacation, part of our routine is reading books. It started out with us reading books to them, but just like we were hoping, they've wanted to do it more and more.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

National Root Beer Float Day - August 6th

It's time for yet another National Food Celebration Day.
August 6th happens to be National Root Beer Float Day!
Also known as a Black Cow, I remember having Black Cows when I was little with my parents. And now I get to have them with my kids!

Sunday, August 4, 2019

A Lion King Celebration at Disneyland

Continuing our Lion King celebration weekend, we're at Disneyland! And now everyone is wearing hats. I'm not sure if mine is intended to be Simba or Mufasa. I think it's supposed to be grownup Simba, but when you've got all these hats together it's easy to say it's Mufasa. Ian is wearing a young Simba cub hat. It wasn't easy, but I found Alli a Nala hat. And brand new from Disneyland Paris is Theresa's Timon and Pumba headband!

A closer look at the headband.

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day - August 4th

Today is August 4th and it's National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!
My favorite dessert is not cake, pie, ice cream or candy. No, it's the simple chocolate chip cookie. Delicious!
So on today of all days, we're certainly going to be celebrating that happy accident that Ruth Wakefield had back in the 1930s. You might already know the story, but Ruth owned the Toll House Inn and decided to make a batch of chocolate cookies for her guests. She used broken up pieces of semi-sweet chocolate, thinking it would all melt together and make chocolate cookies. But the chocolate stayed together in "chips" and now we're all better off for it!
Thank you Ruth!

Today we're at Disneyland and I think we should sample the best chocolate chip cookies each park has to offer. 

Saturday, August 3, 2019

The Lion King - the movie 2019

As you'll soon see, it's going to be a Lion King weekend.
Theresa was busy with work, so I grabbed the kids and we headed to the theater. Our hats were getting lots of attention.


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Taste testing Oreo Eggs

It's a little late, but we're finally getting around to trying these Oreo Eggs.
We love trying all sorts of different Oreo cookies so when I saw these of course we're going to taste test them.

They're just about the same size as those delicious Cadbury Creme Eggs that I love every Easter. I'm wondering what's on the inside.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Celebrating my birthday at Disneyland

Happy Birthday to me!
It's been a fun weekend of volleyball, food, and movies. What better way to wrap it up than to go to Disneyland. 

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Hermosa Beach AVP - Saturday

We had so much fun yesterday at the AVP that when T asked me what I wanted to do on Saturday, I said I wanted to come back!


Friday, July 26, 2019

Hermosa Beach AVP - Friday

The AVP is in town!
Ever since moving to California and taking my first beginners beach volleyball class, volleyball has been my new favorite sport. 
T and I would spend hours every weekend playing volleyball on the sand. And a great part about volleyball is that you get to see some of the best players in the world up close and for free! That's right. The Hermosa Beach Open is completely free for anyone to come watch! And depending how early you arrive, you can set up right next to the courts. 

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.