Native Texan Livin': June 2014

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Carnival Cruise Countdown Calendar

♫♪♫♪ If they could see me now, out on a fun ship cruise, 
eating fancy food & doing what we choose... ♫♪♫♪

Surely I'm not the only one that remembers that song, right?  Well, we're not quite there yet, but we will be eating that fancy food in just over 2 weeks!  So, in order to get the kids more into "cruise mode" we decided to make a countdown calendar.  I did some googling & pinteresting for some ideas but they were pretty sparse for a cruise countdown calendar.  There's mostly Disney stuff out there, so we decided to piece-meal it.

We started with a picture I found on the internet of a Carnival cruise boat.  I added "Carnival Magic" and "Days til our summer vacation" the pic before we printed it.  I trimmed off all the excess & had the girls glue it onto a white piece of cardstock.

Izzy & Maggie cut the 6 sheets of paper into 4 equal strips.  Let's put our cutting skills to work!  They used wavy scissors but Maggie was having difficulty with it, so we switched her to regular scissors.

Once all the strips were cut, the girls stapled the loops thru each other to make a chain.  We went with red, white & blue pattern to follow along with Carnival's colors.

After we connected the girls chains, Izzy wrote numbers on each loop to mark the days we have left.

We tacked the loops to the wall & then tacked the cruise pic on top of it.  Since I have 3 girls, each girl will be in charge of taking off a different color.  Maggie: Red, Izzy: White, Becca: Blue.  Yes, even the 16 year old wants to get in on the action. (She just wasn't here when we made this project.)

I can't wait til we rip off that #1!!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sea World San Antonio

Have family...will travel
Julie, Eddie Lauren, Izzy, Becca, Andy, Val
Christopher, Bella, Maggie, Luke, Liam (missing: Bo-taking the pic & my dad-who knows where he went!)

Last weekend we road tripped it out to Austin to see my sister Valerie & her fam, & then drove to San Antonio on Saturday morning to spend the day at Sea World.  After ignoring the protesters outside the gate urging us to turn around & to not support Sea World, we entered Shamu's house.  (Seriously, if someone's gonna drive all the way to Sea World from Houston via Austin, WHY ON EARTH would I turn around at the gate! "Oh, you're right!  I thought about it & I'm gonna drive the 1 1/2 hrs back to Austin w/o seeing Shamu."  Uh, NO!)  But I digress...back to the kids. :-)

The kids had a blast riding kids roller coasters, carousels, playing in the Sesame Street water area, riding BIG roller coasters & seeing all the animals.

Our photo shoot on the fake roller coaster seat while we waited for the daddy's to finish their ride on the actual roller coaster.

We went to the Beluga Whale show which was pretty cool!  Lots of Cirque du Soleil style acrobatics, synchronized swimming, divers jumping from the top of the building into the tank, dolphins & of course beluga whales!  

Bo & Bec went early to get good seats in the Splash Zone for the Shamu Show.  We sat in the front row & got splashed a lot...but not as much as the front, side areas where Shamu jumps up & crash lands, overflowing the water over the sides & all over those people!  Salty fish water splashed on you in June = feelin' sticky & stinky the rest of the day!

After all the shows we rode some water rides to get rid of the stink.  ;-)  Afterwards, the dads left back to Austin to get food to grill for dinner.  The kids & moms stayed to finish playing.

It was a great trip that I'd be glad to do once a year!  All in all, the lines weren't terrible for the weekend after school let out but it was H-O-T....HOT!  But at least it wasn't 100 degrees yet!

Monday, June 2, 2014

ballerina cookies

I feel like I have good ideas sometimes but don't always allot enough time to pull it off.  I wanted to make Izzy and Maggie's ballet classes cookies for the end of year. Their last classes were on a Tuesday and Wednesday & I had this bright idea on Monday.

Not. Enough. Time. To. Pull. This. Off!

Well, it's not that I wouldn't have had enough time to do this on any other given day, but this was end of year time for Maggie in preschool, getting ready for ballet recitals & still had to work during the day.  AND because I didn't want to stay up all night on Monday &/or go completely bonkers trying to get these done by Tues afternoon, I decided to make them during the week & was going to pass them out Friday night at rehearsal.

In case you were wondering why I'm "whining" above, I should mention that making sugar cookies with royal icing  is a process that's either going to take all day or you can do a little at a time over 2-3 days.  Just depends on how much time you have.  You have to mix the dough, the dough has to set in the fridge, roll out, cut & bake the cookies, cool the cookies, frost the cookies, let the frosting set & then FINALLY package the cookies.

The sugar cookie & royal icing recipes I use are from Bee in Our Bonnet and so far it's what works for me.  The only change I've made is adding more vanilla in place of the lemon extract.  Just not a big fan of lemon.

I finally decided on a ballerina dress cookie but I didn't have a cutter in that shape.  I found a shape I liked online, so I printed it on cardstock, cut it out & used that as my cookie template.  After cutting out each cookie with a paring knife & baking them all, I ended up with these...

Are these ballet dresses or mushrooms?!?!  :-)

I left most of the royal icing white & made 2 different color pinks.  I didn't really know what I was doing so I just went with it.  Some were pink skirts, some light pink, some dark.  Some had diff colored ruffles, some had the same color ruffles as the skirt.

I found these cute bags at Hobby Lobby w/ a scroll pattern on it.  I think they made my cookies look better than they actually were!  :-)

We finally got to pass out the cookies on rehearsal night & I hope they were yummy in whoever's tummies they ended up in!