Monday, December 30, 2019

Ian gets to give the welcome announcement on Southwest Airlines

Normally I'd just include something like this in a regular trip report, but this one was just too special.
The last time we were in the St Louis airport, we were giving out candy, making people feel special. This time something special happened to us.
With 10 people in our party, and the way Southwest does boarding, everyone got on the plane at different times. Ian and I happened to be one of the first.
Like usual, Ian wanted to go see the pilots and ask questions. The Southwest pilots and flight attendants, like usual, are super accommodating. Flight attendant Lori Ann Price led the both of us up to the cockpit.
There Captain Kim Lane let him sit in the Captain's chair, pose for a picture with his hand on the throttle, and answered all his questions about what buttons do what. I thought that would be the end of it, but then she asked Ian if he wanted to give the welcoming announcement to everyone on the plane. Ian's not shy, so of course he said yes.
Not wanting me to miss out on getting a decent seat, I was told that I can go ahead and sit down and they'd send Ian back after the announcements.

More after the jump.

Maple Bacon Donut Cereal - National Bacon Day - December 30th

In honor of National Bacon Day, today we're tasting a brand new cereal. As part of the Honey Brunches of Oats brand, just like the Chicken & Waffles cereal we tasted before, there's another cereal from Post called Maple Bacon Donuts.

So just like usual, we're going to compare the cereal to what it's intended to represent. In our case, the Maple Bacon Donut came from the tasty Moon Donuts.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Traveling to see family

After having everyone visiting us for Christmas, you might think that would be the end of Christmas break, but no! It's time for us to do some traveling too! It was a super early flight out, with us parking the car at 5:30am. But that's okay, because we're headed to...

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Holiday Hostess treats - Mint Chocolate Twinkies and Wintermint Ding Dongs

Hostess is bringing out a few special treats for the holidays. And at this point I'm thinking that maybe I've been collecting a few too many "treats" to sample this holiday season.

Today we're going to try the LiMINTed Edition Mint Chocolate Twinkies and Wintermint Ding Dongs. There's actually a third treat out, but it's just a regular cupcake with holiday sprinkles on top.

Christmas Day

Merry Christmas! It's Christmas morning!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Cookies for Santa with Abby and Aubrey

It's the day before Christmas!

We've got a special visitor coming tonight and I know he likes to have treats waiting for him. The kids are going to make him special sugar cookies!

Hanging out at Christmas

Merry Christmas! Just like Thanksgiving when everyone was out visiting, for Christmas the rest of the family got together!

Making Homemade Holiday Eggnog

Every year since 2014, I've challenged myself to make a Christmas treat that I've never made before. It started with Gingerbread Men (2014)Homemade Candy Canes (2015)Fudge (2016), Peppermint Marshmallows (2017), and Figgy Pudding (2018).

For 2019, I was trying to figure out what I could make that was still related to the holidays. Then it hit me. It was so obvious. I've never made homemade eggnog before.
Eggnog is one of those polarizing holiday treats. You either love it or hate it. Myself, I will drink it a few times a season. I'm good with a cup, but 2 cups is overwhelming.

The recipe I followed comes from Simply Recipes.
Now I knew that Eggnog had eggs in it, but I had no idea it had so many eggs in it.
I opted for a double batch, which really is only a half-gallon or so, which isn't that much considering there's a full house of 14 people here for Christmas.

  • 12 egg yolks, 8 egg whites, 4 cups of milk, 2 cups of heavy cream, 1 1/2 cups of sugar,  pinches of cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 4 whole cloves, 3 tsp vanilla. 

Monday, December 23, 2019

Holiday M&Ms - Peppermint, Hot Cocoa, Holiday Mint

Time for more Holiday Treats. M&Ms is bringing us 3 new things to try for the Christmas season!

White Chocolate Peppermint, Hot Cocoa, and Holiday Mint.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Holiday Krispy Kreme Donuts

Krispy Kreme has some special holiday donuts.
We were driving by and Theresa wanted to grab donuts for people at her work, so we grabbed those plus an extra couple for ourselves.

I like how they decorate things special for Christmas.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Holiday Favorites Jelly Belly jelly beans

The Holiday hits just keep coming. This time Jelly Belly is bringing us 5 Holiday Favorites flavors.

There's Egg Nog, Candy Cane, Pumpkin Pie, Cranberry Sauce, and Hot Chocolate.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Peppermint Bark Oreos

The Holiday Oreos are here!

No new flavors this year. The Peppermint Bark Oreos are returning from last year, but I enjoyed them and was looking forward to them again. The JOY Oreos have red creme filling and 5 fun shapes, but otherwise taste like regular Oreos.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

National Hard Candy Day - Holiday Dum-Dums December 19th

Today is National Hard Candy Day! Once Alli found out, we started discussing different kinds of hard candies. Alli - Gobstoppers, lollipops, jolly ranchers, PEZ. I guess she knows her candy. Well today we're going with the lollipops.
Spangler made those Oreo Candy Canes we tried a little while ago. They also make Dum-Dums. Over 12 million a day!

Inside there's 8 different flavors plus the mystery flavor. Holiday flavors include Merry Cherry, Sugar Plum, Hot Chocolate, Sugar Cookie, Gingerbread, Apple Cider, Green Apple Grinch, and Polar Punch.
I was also pleased with the distribution of flavors in the packaging. There's between 3 and 6 of every flavor and a bunch of mystery flavors.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Holiday Hershey Kisses - Mint Truffle and Cherry Cordial

Time for a lot more holiday taste tests. This time we've got Holiday Hershey's Kisses. Last year we tried Hot Cocoa kisses and Candy Cane Kisses. This year we're trying Dark Chocolate with Mint Truffle and Milk Chocolate with Cherry Cordial.

A visit from Santa Cow at our local Chick-Fil-A

Santa Cow has come to visit for the holidays!

We eat at Chick-Fil-A somewhat regularly, so when the operator of our local CFA sent an email saying Santa Cow was coming to visit, I knew we'd be making a special trip.
Alli and Ian were certainly excited to go see Santa Cow.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

FOUND - All 25 Hidden Mickeys in the Disneyland Grand Californian Gingerbread House

At Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa #grandcalifornianhotel the Grand Gingerbread House has appeared for the holidays. Once again, we have been challenged to find all the hidden Mickeys.
The Flowers family loves finding all these hidden Mickeys and the kids are really good at finding them too. Just like when we found them in the 2018 Grand Californian Gingerbread House, and the 2019 Oogie Boogie Halloween Cake and the 2018 Pump-"cake" Patch.

This house stands 7 feet tall and 12 feet wide. You'll need over 1400 pounds of ingredients to make this cake. According to the sign, the 16 Disney bakers have placed 25 Hidden Mickeys in this cake.
In this post, I'll show you where all 25 can be found (and maybe a few extras).
Spoilers ahead... obviously.

National Chocolate Covered Anything Day - December 16th

Today is National Chocolate Covered Anything Day! Normally I'd do something with the kids to celebrate a national day, but chocolate covered things are Theresa's forte.

There's lots of tasty treats she made with the kids.

Monday, December 16, 2019

2019 Disneyland Candlelight Processional - Lin-Manuel Miranda

It's time for Candlelight to start! Tonight's special guest narrator is Lin-Manuel Miranda, who plays Jack in Mary Poppins Returns and wrote the songs for Moana.

I've been in pretty much this same spot since 9:30am. Not even a restroom break! Let's start the show!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

National Cupcake Day - December 15th

As Alli was getting ready in the morning for the day, she calls out from her room.
Alli - Daddy! What National Day is it today?
Me - It's National Cupcake Day Alli.
Then she came out like this.

Even though we just celebrated Vanilla Cupcake day on November 10th, we didn't make that one ourselves. Today Alli wants to make cupcakes herself.

Oreo Candy Canes

I'm always on the lookout for interesting treats. I happened to be at Michael's Craft Store when I saw these in the check-out aisle. We try all things Oreo, so of course I picked them up. The kids have been begging to try them since they saw the box.

The Spangler Candy corporation is mostly known for Dum Dum suckers, but come Christmastime, they start making Candy Canes. According to wikipedia, they make 45% of the candy canes sold in the United States.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Sweet Cinnamon Kit Kats

A new flavor of Kit Kat? Sweet Cinnamon. Awesome! I saw these at the store among all the other Christmas candy.

The packaging looks very similar to the Pumpkin Pie Kit Kats we tried before Halloween.

A Christmas Disneyland visit with the kids

It's the weekend! Theresa is still getting over something, but the kids seem to be doing better. Our passes are about to be blocked out for the 2 weeks of Christmas so I wanted to get in one more visit. As soon as the kids woke up, I tossed them in the car and we headed off to Disneyland.

Friday, December 13, 2019

National Cocoa Day - December 13th

It's National Cocoa Day today! The kids love it!

There's plenty of different kinds of hot chocolate you can buy, but I opted for classic Nestle cocoa.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Santa comes to town and a trip to Sleepy Hollow

Merry Christmas! One thing I love about this city is that every December, volunteers from the Redondo Beach Police Department and Fire Department drive down every single street in the city giving every kid a visit with Santa.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

2019 Flowers Family Christmas Lights

It's the Christmas Season and it's time for my favorite decorating holiday of the year! I love Christmas Lights! Read on to find out what's new this year!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

National Brownie Day - December 8th

Today is National Brownie Day! Next to cookies, brownies might just be the next best dessert. Ian and Alli helped Theresa make a batch. When it was National Cookie Day we made sure to read "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie". Now that it's Brownie Day, they made sure to find "If You Give a Mouse a Brownie".

I love the edges. The kids like the soft center. Thanks Theresa for making it with them today!

Waiting for the Candlelight Processional 2019

It's the first full weekend of December, so it's time for Disneyland to host its annual Candlelight Processional!
While Theresa and I had been annual pass holders since 2002, Candlelight wasn't a published event and we hadn't heard of it before. It was in 2008 when we met Ruston for the very first time at Jacob's birthday party that he told us a little bit more about it. Ruston gave us a bit of the history, plus told us that he'd be performing. We went to see him that year (and nearly every year since) and soon we all became good friends.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

National Cotton Candy Day - December 7th

Today is National Cotton Candy Day! I've been hanging on to this cereal since the summer just for today. Cotton Candy, aka Fairy Floss and Candy Floss, was invented by a dentist back in 1897.

I love cotton candy. When I heard there was a new flavor of Captain Crunch coming out, it was definitely going to get some. The stores nearby didn't have any in stock (that shouldn't be a surprise at this point) so I had Walmart ship me a box.

Friday, December 6, 2019

A Frosted Flakes taste test comparison

It's time for another big taste test! This time I searched for every single flavor of Frosted Flakes cereal that I could find. In the end, I found 7 unique flavors to compare!

There's regular Frosted Flakes, Chocolate Frosted Flakes, Pumpkin Spice Frosted Flakes, Honey Nut Frosted Flakes, Banana Creme Frosted Flakes, Cinnamon Frosted Flakes, and finally Frosted Flakes with Marshmallows.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Bathtub Party Day - December 5th

Checking the National Day Calendar, today is Bathtub Party Day. I think we can have some fun with that.

National Cookie Day - December 4th

Today is the day to celebrate my favorite dessert. It's National Cookie Day!

And the best of all of them are freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Mmm. Straight out of the oven.