Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Getting Crafty

Every now and then my girlfriends and I get together and have a craft night.
It's fun to hang out as girls and chat and as new homeowners and students we need all the decorations we can get and on a budget so it's a lot of fun to make them ourselves.

We got the idea for the latest project from this blog and they were so easy - I absolutely love how mine turned out.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

The Circus!

"Hi, we're the Garner's and we like to party"

But really, we do.
We like to have big theme parties with costumes and entertainment and games.
We think of any excuse we can to have an elaborate party.
This time, it was Mandi's birthday.
We had a circus party.

We had circus food
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Nachos

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Corn Dogs

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Popcorn

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Snow Cones

Elephant ears, doughnuts, lemonade, custom labeled water bottles and cupcakes!

Circus Decorations
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See that false ceiling under the porch? We also had that red bunting, a tent entrance made of streamers and over 50 balloons and painted circus posters.

Circus games
Plinko, duck draw, the ping pong ball goldfish game and a ball game.
In the games you could win tickets then trade them in for awesome prizes from our prize table!

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Circus entertainment
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A balloon twister

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A dog clown show

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Palm reading


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And face painting


We had circus performers
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Clown, psychic, traveling quack doctor

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The bearded woman


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Strong man

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Tightrope walker

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Mime and another clown!


We had lots of fun!
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Happy Birthday Mandi!


Friday, November 12, 2010

The Trip - Part 15 - The food

If nothing else, this post proves that I have an un-healthy and delicious obsession with food.


New York:
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Not pictured: Street vendor hot dog & pretzels and fresh deli sandwiches

Philadelphia:

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(I've been craving Rita's since we left)

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Not pictured: Stromboli

Washington D.C.

If you were following me on Facebook at the time you may have heard this hilarious story. It was LATE at night and we had just finished up a long day of running all over tarnation and we were absolutely starving. We figured Wendy's was a good enough choice, after all, they do have frosty's.

So we pulled into the drive through behind our trip buddies (Benson's Aunt and Uncle) and since we had a couple of their kids in our car they told the lady at the drive through window they would just pay for ours as well.

She, not understanding we were all together, was extremely excited to let us know that the car in front of us had so generously payed for our meal, "They pay for you!! $14.95 they pay! For you!" Benson couldn't let the opportunity pass and decided to play along. Let's just say his response to her telling us this "wonderful news" included him getting teary eyed and thanking her profusely.

Well, once we got back to our hotel room we started distributing our food and noticed that some of it was missing. One of those somethings being one of Benson's two burgers. He was really frustrated since he was really hungry and hates getting ripped off but decided to just let it go and eat the burger he did get. That was, until he removed the top bun to add ketchup and found that his "double cheese burger" was actually just a "single cheese burger patty ripped in half with cheese in the middle"

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I still think it was bad Karma for him deceiving the poor lady in the drive through.

Not pictured: Chili dogs from Ben's Chili Bowl

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Trip - Part 14 - Braintree, MA & Home

Day 14
The last day of our trip! We woke up early and got all of our things packed then drove out to Braintree, MA to tour the birthplaces of John Adams and John Quincy Adams as well as the "Old" House in which they lived after he became president.

John & Abagail Adams are one of my favorite first families so I was very excited for this part of the trip (We recognized Paul Giamatti so easily since he plays John Adams in the HBO series adaptation of David McCullough's book). We had an amazing tour guide at the Presidential house which made it even better.

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There were a lot of funny stories about the Presidential house. For one, they purchased the house without seeing it. Abagail had remembered the house from when she was younger and how large it was, they were in France at the time and when they heard it was for sale, had a friend purchase it for them. When they returned home they were shocked to find that it was not quite as big as she remembered. Even worse, the house was only about 12ft deep from the front door to the back. Abagail was disappointed but determined to make it work so she had additions build onto the house. In the addition, she wanted the ceiling raised. This caused a problem, however, for if the ceiling was raised in just the addition, the floors of the second story would not match up. When the contractor told her this her response was "Well then lower the floor." So they did, and when you walk in to the addition on the first story you have to take a few steps down.

The best part of the Adams house was that every single thing in the house was owned by the Adams family. Dishes, tables, books, beds. They even have the chair that John Adams died in.

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This little house is the stone library that was added to the house by John Adams' great grandson (I think) to protect the books his family had collected. It is separated from the main house to prevent it being ruined in case of a fire and to allow for it to be kept at a cooler temperature preserving the books. Wouldn't you love a little place like that to go and read? It includes two stories of book shelves and over 14,000 books all originally owned by the Adams family.

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Around the grounds was beautiful. All sorts of flowers and orchards surrounding the house.

As soon as the tour was over Benson and I ran (literally) to the subway and rode it to the Airport. We checked in for our flight and realized we probably wouldn't make it on (we were flying standby). We had to wait in the airport for a couple of hours and then finally made it on a flight (the last one of the day!).

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Going home from vacation is always a bittersweet thing. It's so exciting to be in your own home in your own bed - but ending the freedom vacation brings is no fun.

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Home Sweet Home!

Next up: The Food!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Trip - Part 13 - Boston, MA

Day 13
This was the last fully day of our trip and we had a LOT to see! We got an early start and drove out to Plymouth to see the Mayflower, Plymouth rock and First Church and the graveyard. While we were there we also went to the Pilgrim Hall museum.

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(Mayflower Replica)

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Plymouth Rock - yep, it's that small - people chipped away at it for years as "souvenirs" and what not. They now have it surrounded by a wall and you look down at it from a platform. While we were all looking at it Benson dropped his keys down into the area around the rock and had to fish them out with a net!

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Fun fact: Benson and I's closest ancestor was the first pilgrim baby born in the US. He was born on the Mayflower in Plymouth harbor since the houses had not yet been built.

After touring the Plymouth area, we went back to Boston to walk the Freedom Trail. We started at the end and went to the beginning because we're cool like that.

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Old North Church

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Paul Revere in front of the Old North Church

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Paul Revere's Home

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Pear tree and lavender in Paul Revere's garden

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Fanueil Hall

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Benson helping out the street performer. This guy stood his sweaty stocking feet on Benson's arms and juggled knives. It was intense.

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Old State House

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Granary Burying Ground

Next up: Braintree, MA and Home!