Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I think I would like the owners of our condo....

So, I knew that we would like this condo at the beach as it had a lot of the features that we look for-- 
First, it has lots of space to spread out- almost 1500 sq ft! 
Everyone gets their own bedroom
Ocean front balcony
Well equipped kitchen
TV's in more than one room- good for being cooped up on stormy days! (AND SO THANKFUL FOR THIS BECAUSE TROPICAL STORM DEBBY HELD US CAPTIVE IN OUR CONDO)
Pool, short walk to beach, nice neighborhood etc....
AND to top it all off, there was a strong Disney decorating theme throughout!!
And, we being self proclaimed Disney addicts, thought this we GREAT!
The best part was all of the other little hidden gems throughout the condo...I think I would like the condo owners if I were to ever meet them!
"You drink too much, you gossip too much, you have questionable morals...You're everything I ever wanted in a friend" Love this one!

Sound familiar to anyone?

Lots of space- AND comfy furniture too!

Some of the Disney in the dining area

This is DS's room- and it must belong to the owners son as well- a BEATLES room!

Loved the bright colors and that there is even a double decker bus print in the closet! Perfect for all the Boden hanging in there with it!

Not just Disney though- this is in the hallway to DD's room- love the Wicked Witch license plate (my other car is a broom!) May have to get one of those!

DD's room- which is the owner's daughters room as well. Lots of fun- Audrey Hepburn prints, purple walls and bright curtains covering the closet

DD hiding under the covers! It looks like DS snuck in there with her last night!

More brightness! Please ignore the DD's mess!

The kitchen- complete with Mickey cookie jar!

And VERY IMPORTANT- the laundry room (closet) but it even had whimsical touches!

The entry had all kinds of Disney items too- fun and functional!

Their sign says it all....

Even the knobs on the cabinet had been changed to be fun!
I love this place and so does the is destined to be a repeat destination for us...if we ever get over the trauma from Tropical Storm Debby!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How to risk your life in a Tropical Storm

I must start this blog with the disclaimer that I did not participate in this activity, nor would I recommend that anyone try this!

We are vacationing just below Clearwater, Florida at this time which means we are also getting to experience the wrath of Tropical Storm Debby.  There have been multiple waterspouts spotted as well as rain wrapped tornadoes.  Luckily (for us) they seem to be coming in from the water closer to Clearwater so we have not had to seek shelter in the interior stairwell of the condo building.
Our balcony is facing to the north so we have been able to be outside and watch the antics of those that have braved the weather to be on the beach.  First of all, they are not supposed to be in the water (though there are no lifeguards near here to enforce this), there  is a $200 fine for being in the water.  The main reason is that the storm has increased the rip current and made being in the water especially dangerous.

There are people in the pool (where the pool furniture was flying through the air earlier), people playing volleyball and even some people way out in the water trying to surf.
As the rain was almost vertical, these kids climbed onto this very short pier and began jumping off into the water.

As you can see, this pier is really short, not a proper fishing pier at the fact that they were jumping off of it was even more dangerous! In fact, Tyler (who is 5 years old) said in his most serious voice "They must want to die".

  The person in the yellow slicker looked like an adult and we thought when he ran up he was going to stop them but instead he climbed onto the pier to cheer them on during their second jump!
They all lived to jump twice and walk away apparently unscathed. My husband said "I bet that they would love to have this pictures...maybe we will see them later this week...if the sun comes out!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

UK Mars Bar vs US Mars, I mean Milky Way!

So, this was a little more time consuming than I had anticipated.  Here in the States there is a Mars bar but it has almonds in comparing it to the UK Mars bar just seemed unfair. I mean, it has almonds! Doesn't that automatically make it better? Here is a pic of the US Mars bar.

The experiment proceeded regardless but then a quick search on Mikkipedia...erm, Wikkipedia, revealed that the US equivalent to the UK Mars bar is actually the US Milky Way bar- though that shouldn't be confused with the UK Milky Way bar which is really equivalent to the US Three Musketeers....AGH!!!

So, I decided to scrap the initial data and start over with a Milky Way bar in order to get a true comparison.

Back to the market to get a Milky Way Bar and of course, there are regular Milky Ways, Dark Chocolate Milky Way and All caramel Milky Way....we REALLY like our candy here in the States!!

I decided that the regular US Milky Way was the best specimen for our comparison as the Mars was also milk chocolate.
Initial physical inspection of the candy bars revealed that the US Milky Way was slightly longer than the UK Mars- though Wikkipedia also stated that the Mars Duo was slightly smaller than the regular bar- and this bar was part of a Duo, so this difference will be excluded from the analysis.
It was also noted that the chocolate of the US version appeared to be a bit darker in color than the UK Mars bar.

The nutritional breakdown is as follows-
UK Mars Bar (One 42.5 g bar)
Calories- 191 kcal
Sugars- 25.4 g
Fat- 7.3 g
Saturates- 3.5 g
Salt 0.18 g
 Ingredients- sugar, glucose syrup, skimmed milk powder, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, sunflower oil, lactose, milk fat, vegetable fat, whey powder, fat reduced cocoa, barley malt extract, emulsifier (soya lecithin), salt, egg white powder, hydrolysed milk protein, natural vanilla extract

US Milky Way (One 58.1 g bar)
Calories- 270
Fat- 11 g
Sat Fat 7 g
Sugars 35 g
Sodium- 95 mg
Ingredients- milk chocolate (Sugar, cocoa butter, skim milk, chocolate, lactose, milkfat, soy lecithin, artificial flavor), Corn syrup, sugar, hydrogenated palm kernel oil and/or palm oil, skim milk, less than 2% - milkfat, cocoa powder processed with alkali, malted barley, lactose, salt, egg whites, chocolate, artificial flavor.

If we evaluate the bars by weight, the calories, fat, sugars and salt are very similar- with the US bar being only slightly higher than the UK bar.

As seen above, the cross section of the candy bars revealed that the bars were very similar.
Unfortunately, the UK Mars bar suffered a bit on its trip across the pond and was a little smashed.  The US bar appears to have a thicker strip of caramel but due to the condition of the UK bar, this assumption may not hold true if a non-smashed bar was available for evaluation.
The UK nougat was a different color- it was more chocolate in color when compared to the lighter nougat of the US bar.
The caramel of the UK bar also had a different consistency.  Once the bar was cut, the caramel began to run, causing the pieces to stick to the plate. This phenomena was not observed with the US bar. This difference may be attributed to the damage suffered by the UK bar and again, might not hold true if a non-damaged Mars bar was available for evaluation.

Picture below of pieces of both bars ready for the taste test.

The taste tester panel was expanded for this evaluation (as we were having a cookout and I asked for participation).
The UK Mars bar was on the spotty plate and the US Milky Way was on the monkey plate.
The panel consisted of 4 adults (ages 25-65) and 4 children (age 5-11).
Despite it's ragged appearance, the UK Mars bar prevailed with a vote of 6- 2.  In fact, my BIL (a Milky Way devotee) was SHOCKED to find that he had in fact voted against his beloved bar!!! The only two votes for the US bar were from the 60+ age group.

(Just for complete evaluation purposes, I also tasted both and can state that I agree with the consensus of the taste test panel members.  The main difference for me is the the US Milky Way bar is much sweeter- so I liked the UK one better)

After the taste test concluded and the panel members were informed of the results, they decided to give some other UK/Funland chocolates a try.  We had a few Cadbury eggs remaining from Easter (BIL was firm that US were better but we had none available for a true comparison).  Dumle's were a hit! The remainder of the chocolates were dark choc from Funland which at 70% cacoa- were a bit too dark for this group (though I enjoyed them!)
It was really interesting to share this experiment with other members of the family as I also had to explain a bit about BC. I think that I may end up seeing my SIL on here soon!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Prayer at work?

 I got this in an email at work the other day.  By the time I finished reading it I was shaking my head at how wrong it is but laughing hysterically at the same time....I definitely need to pray at work!




Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tshirts made into a quilt?

Recently, I mentioned how much I would like to make a T-shirt quilt from the Boden t-shirts that my kids have had over the years.  I usually put mini Boden on eBay as it always sells so well, but when it is a cute little tshirt that both the kids and I have loved- I just can't part with it.
Not all of the tshirts are Boden as I don't think I had discovered mini boden when he was itty bitty...
A fave....of mine of course, dad didn't like it as much 
(and don't you love that hair!)

You can't read this one that well but it says "The Mighty Acorns"- which I have always thought was cute especially for us...

Covered in paint but one of his favorites!

Loved this one "Anyone for cricket?"

Another non-Boden but how can you not love a bright yellow tshirt that says HAPPY?!!

Not a tshirt but still a favorite- have it in blue too!!

This was a perfect shirt as he is always full of questions!!

just like what this one says!!
 and somewhere is a picture of his very first Boden shirt (which I still have) - it was brown with the crossed guitars...Loved that one so much!
Do you keep any of your kids clothes just because?????

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Quilts Galore!!

It is that time of year...time to get all the quilts out of the cedar chest and refold them.  This is something that my mother and I used to do.  She insisted on it so that the quilts would not permanently crease and to reduce any chance of the spots that quilts can get when stored in cedar.  This is my first time of doing this since mom passed away so I was overjoyed when my 5 year old son wanted to help with the 'old blankets'.  
I have three cedar chest full of these quilts.  All of them were handmade by a member of my family, perhaps with the assistance of their friends.  There used to be quilting circles and quilting bees- where a group of ladies got together and work to help each other or just keep each other company.  The quilts shown below are just the contents of one cedar chest.  I apologize that I do not know the names of most of them though I know that my mom documented this so I will have to dig that out and update later.

This is one of my daughter's favorites...

Quilt 1

Quilt 2
This is one of my favorites- I just love the colors! (and I think I may recognize some of the fabric from pictures) and it was son's fave as well!

Quilt 3
This one is a group effort- each diamond has the name of the lady that quilted it.  This one is quite old.

Quilt 4
Love the red in this one

Quilt 5
This one is either much older or was just used more as it is showing its age...

Quilt 6
I wonder if they meant for this one to have the ring of darker fabric in the pattern or they just ran out of the lighter fabric??

Quilt 7
I think this is a wedding ring? Purple flowers.

Quilt 8
Another older one.  I love the print in the light fabric.  Windmills maybe?

So that is the contents of one cedar chest.  All have been refolded and put away until it comes time to refold them again in the fall.  Hopefully my little helper will be just as willing at that was not nearly as sad with his happy little hand and sweet comments.