Friday, December 31, 2021

Finishing our 500 challenge!

Today is New Years Eve and with that, we'll be happy to close out 2021. How have you done on your New Years Resolutions? 

There's one resolution that we've been working towards all year, and that is to join the 500 Club. What's the 500 Club? It was anything we wanted it to be, as long as it got us outside and moving around. It can mean something different to everyone. 

It started with my Dad, Mickey Flowers, who made it a goal to complete 500 Manitou Inclines in less than a year. Just to do 1 Manitou Incline is a challenge, but 500 in one year? That's extreme!
My Mother, Sheila Flowers, decided that she was going to make it a goal to her 10,000 steps a day, and then walk 500 miles on top of that in one year. Great goal!
And for my family, we like both bike riding and walking, so we're going to try to do 500 miles of each in just one year! 

Let's do it!

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Holiday Treats - Funfetti Candy Canes

Maybe I'm just noticing it this year, but the candy cane company Spangler has gone all out in making different candy cane flavors this year.

Knowing I like to try all sorts of crazy stuff, and also because it went along with our "Try All the Funfetti things" taste test, the kids surprised me with a box of these Funfetti Candy Canes!

The box of Funfetti Candy Canes looks super colorful. And we just can't have these candy canes by themselves. We're going to have to make some Funfetti cupcakes to go along with it!

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Holiday Treats - Seasonal Flavored Goat Cheeses

I am always on the lookout for interesting holiday treats. I totally found that when I was exploring my local Aldi. 

Holiday Goat Cheese logs! Sure you've seen cranberry covered goat cheese, but we're going for something a little more unique today. The three flavors we're trying today are: Gingerbread, Sweet Cranberry Stuffing, and Eggnog. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Christmas Day in Florida

Twas the night before Christmas. 

It's been a very busy week leading up to Christmas (more to come on that in a future post) but for now, the Michigan families are visiting us in Florida and we've all rented hotel rooms at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando. 

And even though we're in a hotel room, that doesn't mean we can't decorate it a little bit for the holidays. Our mini Christmas tree, all Alli's ornaments, and our Christmas stockings all made the journey to help spruce up the room for Christmas. 

Monday, December 27, 2021

Pizza at Home - Pineapple Four Ways Pizza

Those of you who think pineapple on pizza is an abomination might just want to skip reading this week's pizza post. This week is all about that tasty fruit that goes so great on pizza that it is getting a pizza dedicated entirely to it. This pizza is going to have pineapple on it in four different ways!

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Holiday Treats - Skittles Candy Canes

We've all had a regular peppermint candy cane, but what about something that has even more flavors? What about a 5 flavored candy cane? And what if they all tasted like Skittles?

Spangler, the largest candy cane company in the world, has teamed up with Mars Wrigley to bring us Skittles flavored candy canes this Christmas!

We sure do enjoy Skittles, as you'll see in a soon to be written post. These Skittles candy canes have a beautiful twist of the red, orange, yellow, green, and purple Skittles colors. 

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Godspeed JWST! Go James Webb Space Telescope!

Today is a super exciting day! The James Webb Space Telescope, which will replace the Hubble Telescope, is going to launch! 

Theresa and I were fortunate to get to see it multiple times during its build cycle, and any time family came to visit and viewing was allowed, we'd take them over to the high bay and viewing platform to look at the progress of assembling this complicated space telescope. 

In 2019, during a family day, not only could you see it, but you could also get your picture taken in front of it! It was especially cool because the sunshield was deployed and the mirror boom was completed with the mirrors installed. 

Merry Christmas!

 Merry Christmas from the Flowers' family! What an incredible year!

There have been a lot of changes this year and we've been able to see so many amazing sights and visit with such fun people. It was hard to figure out what all to put on our Christmas card! 

The kids have loved this time of year and love spreading Christmas cheer. It doesn't matter who we come across, whether it be a cashier at the grocery store, a cast member at Disney, or just a random person while we're out, they love the reactions they get when they tell someone "Have a great day! Happy Holidays!" It's an almost guaranteed smile from whoever they're talking to. 

We all hope you have a very Merry Christmas! 

Friday, December 24, 2021

Olaf's Holiday Tradition Expedition 2021 at Epcot

Happy Christmas Eve! Today it's time to celebrate Holiday Traditions with Olaf!

The whole family loves watching Christmas specials (guess you could call that a holiday tradition) and one of our favorites is Olaf's Frozen Adventure. In it, Anna and Elsa realize they have no holiday traditions, so Olaf sets out to find all the traditions in Arendelle to bring back for them. 

The TV Special also has one of my newest favorite Christmas songs, When We're Together. When Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell sing it together, I get chills. My favorite recording of it has to be when they sang it as part of Disney's Magical Holiday Celebration in front of the Disneyland castle. And if you happen to look towards the screen-left side of the choir, at the top you'll see Ruston! And two rows below him is another friend Paula! 

But let's get into what this post is really about. Olaf's Holiday Tradition Expedition in Epcot. 

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Holiday Treats - Candy Cane Pop Rocks

I love trying special holiday versions of treats. Pop Rocks are a special favorite that we don't get very often, and this year they have a Candy Cane version of Pop Rocks!

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Holiday Treats - Making Caramel Crack (Caramel Puffed Corn) at home

One of the special treats we had while on the road was the Caramel Crack from our Harvest Host family at Grain Bin Commodities. That stuff was delicious and addictive. I knew I had to try making it, and the best place I could think to do it was with family at Christmastime! 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Epcot Holiday Cookie Stroll 2021

I love all the different festivals and experiences there are to do here in Florida at Disney World. There's a Cookie Stroll around Epcot? Let's do it!

Monday, December 20, 2021

Pizza at Home - Florida Alligator Pizza

After last week's Florida Orange pizza, I felt that I needed to give Florida another try. What else is Florida famous for? You know, we've seen a few alligators while we've been out and about. That could certainly be interesting. 

This week, I'm going to make an Alligator pizza!

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Lake Magic Florida - 2021/12/02-14

Welcome back to Florida! We're back from Colorado and back to living in the RV. 

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Mystery ICEE taste test

The kids love frozen drinks and they were especially excited to see these frozen mystery treats at our local Walmart. 

Friday, December 17, 2021

A giant Fruity Candy Taste Test - 17 different candies, 53 different flavors!

There's so many different fruity candies out there. For Alli and Ian's birthday, knowing they loved doing taste tests, their aunt and uncle got them 17 different fruity candies to try out!

Tonight we're tasting 17 unique candies, but many of these have multiple flavors, leading to lots of unique tastes. By my count we've got 53 different ones!
1. Haribo Gummi Bears (5 flavors)                    10. Twizzlers (1 flavor)
2. Dots (5 flavors)                                               11. Skittles (5 flavors)
3. Haribi Peach Rings (1 flavor)                         12. Starburst (4 flavors)
4. Haribo Happy Cola (1 flavor)                         13. Mamba (4 flavors)
5. Swedish Fish (1 flavor)                                   14. Sour Patch Kids (5 flavors)
6. Mike & Ike (5 flavors)                                    15. Sour Patch Kids Watermelon (1 flavor)
7. Nerds Gummy Clusters (1 flavor)                   16. Sour Punch Straws (1 flavor)
8. Air Heads (6 flavors)                                       17. Trolli Sour Bright Crawlers (3 flavors)
9. Laffy Taffy (4 flavors)

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Milky Way Candy Bar Taste Test - 5 different flavors!

We've done Snickers. We've done Reese's. We've even done M&Ms. Now it's time to pick another candy bar and try as many of them as we can find!

Today's candy taste test will be the Milky Way bar! My brother Patrick's favorite candy bar is the Milky Way, so this will be the perfect test to try with him!

There were five different Milky Way candy bars that I was able to find. Today we're trying the classic Milky Way, Milky Way Simply Caramel, Milky Way Salted Caramel, Milky Way Fudge, and Milky Way Midnight. 
I couldn't find a Milky Way Simply Caramel bar in any size other than the small snack sizes. And the Milky Way Midnight is looking a little worse for wear from all that traveling in the RV. I'm sure it'll still taste delicious. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Merry Christmas from Colorado - 2021/11/26

Merry Christmas! While we're in Colorado celebrating Thanksgiving, we're also going to have a Christmas celebration too. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Gingerbread KitKat and Gingerbread Cookie Taste Test

I guess we love gingerbread because we've got yet another fun gingerbread taste test to try today. 

Today it's a Gingerbread KitKat taste test, along with homemade gingerbread cookies!

Monday, December 13, 2021

Pizza at Home - Florida Oranges Pizza

Happy Sunday! Today I'm back in Florida and it's time to make pizza! And I'm going to be continue my series of pizzas inspired by the states we're currently in. For those of you keeping track at home, here's what I've made so far. 

Missouri - Wild Blackberry Pizza
Kentucky - Kentucky Fried Chicken Pizza
Tennessee - Nashville Hot Chicken Pizza
North Carolina - North Carolina BBQ Pizza
Virginia - Virginia Ham and Potato Pizza
Pennsylvania - Philly Cheesesteak Pizza, Hershey S'mores Pizza
New York - New York Strawberry Cheesecake
New Hampshire - New Hampshire Dairy Farm Ice Cream Pizza
Vermont - Vermont Cheddar and Garlic Thin Crust Pizza, Vermont Maple Syrup with Bacon Pizza
Maine - Maine Blueberry Pizza
Massachusetts - Toll House Chocolate Chip Pizza, Fluffernutter Pizza, Boston Baked Bean Pizza
Michigan - Michigan Cherry Pizza
Georgia - Georgia Peach Pizza

And now today I'm going to make a pizza for what Florida is famous for. Oranges! How will it turn out? Guess we'll just have to see what happens. 

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Puzzling it out in Colorado

I don't know why but Thanksgiving and Christmas always seem like a good time to do puzzles. We took that to an extreme while we were visiting in Colorado. In the past, at nighttime we might sit down and watch TV or a movie together. This visit though, there was very little TV watching. Most every night and even during the day, we'd all sit around the dining room table and put together a puzzle. 

We're visiting Colorado for 14 days and in that time, we completed a total of 16 puzzles!

Saturday, December 11, 2021

The ultimate Cheerios Taste Test - We compare 20 different flavors of Cheerios!

Today's giant taste test comparison is something I've been wanting to do for years. I wanted to do it, but I was having a hard time justifying buying so many boxes of Cheerios. Every time I walked down the cereal aisle I would see a dozen different Cheerios flavors and think that eventually I'd get around to doing that taste test. 

My brother Patrick and his wife Megan decided that the time had finally come and started buying every Cheerios flavor they could find before we arrived for Thanksgiving!

And so today, with 20 bowls in front of us, we're going to set out to find our favorite Cheerios flavor! Let's get started!

Friday, December 10, 2021

A Thanksgiving Celebration in Colorado - 2021/11/25

I love that we're able to travel and visit places for special occasions. Like Thanksgiving! We're in Colorado to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family!

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Colorado Soup Night - 4 homemade soups

It's late November in Colorado and temperatures are dropping outside. Megan said that on cold days she loves to make a particular kind of soup. From there, that suggestion grew into "Why not have a giant soup night, where people can make their favorite type of soup and we'll all share it?" That certainly sounds like our kind of taste test. 

Four of us opted to make soup today.
1. Cheddar Beer soup - inspired by the Epcot Canada recipe
2. Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli Soup
3. German Goulash
4. Swiss, Ham, and Potato soup

I could have made some homemade bread to go with it, but Patrick said "I know a pretzel guy" and provided us with lots of hot pretzels to have along with our soups. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Gingerbread Oreo cookie and crunchy gingerbread cookie taste test

More Gingerbread? Why not. We've got even more gingerbread items to try, so you know what that means. We're back in the kitchen and we're baking again. 

This time we're going to be trying a new Oreo flavor for the holidays. This time we're trying Gingerbread Oreos! And instead of trying our regular soft chewy gingerbread cookie recipe, we're going to try a crunchy gingerbread cookie. If you've tried the Pepperidge Farm Gingerman cookies, that's what we're going for.  

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Maple KitKat Taste Test along with Couture Maple Syrup

A KitKat flavor I haven't tried yet? Yes please! Thank you Megan for finding these! 

I do indeed love Maple, as do many of my family members. When Megan pulled these out after we got to Colorado I was excited to try them! It's a good thing I brought all these other maple items to try along with it. 

We picked these up at the Couture Maple Shop when we were in Vermont. Jacques and Pauline Couture showed us everything that went into making maple syrup from their groves of maple trees, to the sugar shack, to the kitchens where they make all their delicious products. We'll be tasting 4 different grades of maple syrup (lightest flavor to strongest), maple cream, maple peanuts and almonds, maple cotton candy, maple sugar candy, and maple drops. Let's get started!

Monday, December 6, 2021

Pizza at Home - Thin Crust pizza in Colorado

Happy Sunday! We're in Colorado this week where everyone seems to love thin crust pizza. Both of the Sundays we are here I made thin crust pizza, so this week's post is a combination of both of those. 

Let's make some pizzas!

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Holiday Treats - Homemade English Toffee

Merry Christmas! Do you have any holiday traditions? I have a tradition that I've been continuing since 2014. Every year I try to make a unique Christmas treat that I've never made before. It all started when a friend shared Disneyland's recipe for gingerbread. I made gingerbread for the first time that year and have been trying something new ever since. 

First I made Gingerbread Men (2014), Homemade Candy Canes (2015), Fudge (2016), Peppermint Marshmallows (2017), Figgy Pudding (2018), Eggnog (2019), and last year I made a Holiday Yule Log (2020).

This year I am making a holiday favorite around this house. English Toffee! Let's get this started!

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Saturday Morning Cereals - Apple Pie Toast Crunch cereal

It's time for another Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal variety! In the past we've tried Cinnamon Toast Crunch (with homemade bread for Cinnamon Toast), French Toast Crunch (with homemade bread and homemade French Toast), Chocolate Toast Crunch (with homemade chocolate bread), Cinnamon Toast Crunch Churros (with homemade churros), and Sugar Cookie Toast Crunch (with homemade sugar cookies)

Now there's something new! Apple Pie Toast Crunch! I like pie even more than I like cake, and apple pie is one of my favorites. 

My sister-in-law Megan has a great recipe for apple pie and offered to make it for me for this taste test comparison. Thank you!

Friday, December 3, 2021

Nestle Quik Chocolate Wafer Bar - from Korea

A little while back, Uncle Jacob surprised us with a few treats from overseas. Sometimes I hold on to treats for a while until I get around to taste testing them. Now we get to try them while we're in Colorado!

The package translates to Nestle Nesquik Chocolate Wafers + Milk. 
Overseas KitKat bars are made by Nestle. I wonder if these will be similar. 

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Peanut Brittle

Something new from Reese's! Yes please! My sister-in-law Megan made sure to buy some for us and have them when we showed up in Colorado. 

These Reese's cups have a Peanut Brittle flavored Creme and instead of smooth peanut butter inside, there's crunchy peanut butter. Yum!

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Gingerbread Snap'd Mountain Dew Taste Test

It's the holidays which means it's time for some of the more interesting holiday treats to come out. My brother loves Mountain Dew in all forms, so it was no surprise to see that he's got something new for us to try. 

What is surprising though is the flavor. Gingerbread Snap'd Mountain Dew! A gingerbread flavored soda? I'm intrigued!

And with all the taste tests that we do here, we've got to have it going up against the real thing. Let's make some gingerbread cookies!