Oct 26, 2013

Universal Studios

Well, we're back, and I'm positive about one thing: Universal Studios is WAY better than Disney World! At least for taller and/or older people. I went to Disney World when I was... 12? At the time, I was terrified of roller coasters but on that trip I learned to appreciate the large difference between permanently set up coasters and the kind they throw up in a day for the fair.

That said, I honestly think the best part of the trip was when we were watching a horror make up show and the guy was teasing a kid, and then said "See, this isn't Disney World... We don't have to be nice to the kids here." (There were two guys on stage, the other guy pretended to accuse the kid for throwing a rock, the second guy was pretending to yell at him for it.)

Now, the reason why I say that Universal Studios is better than Disney World? Sure, Universal may be half the size, but the coasters are WAY more intense! My favorite ride at Disney World was the Tower of Terror. (You're in an elevator that drops quickly. The rises, not so fast.) Universal's version of that was Dr. Doom's Free Fall. You lift about 5-10 feet off the ground, and then SHOOT into the air! The only bad thing about that was all the rest of the dropping and rising weren't nearly as dramatic. I'm not much of a screamer, but I definitely screamed on that one.

The Hulk coaster has to be my favorite, and I'm going to keep the reason a secret because it's a complete surprise. The Dragon Fight ride at Harry Potter was also a favorite. And the Mummy Ride... That one was also a surprise!

There were a bunch of rides that were pretty much a theater with seats/cars that jerk around and make it feel like you're on a coaster, with the added effects of a story plot, water, smells, fog, etc. We usually called these "4-D" rides, because some of the rides were described as 4-D (3D with the added benefit of the car/seat moving) but not all of them were 3D. We also called some of them Story Coasters, because some of them were more of a Roller Coaster, but not quite.

The biggest lesson we learned, though, was to wear very comfortable flip flops or sandals. The reason for this was because there are a few water rides in the Islands of Adventure park, (one of the 2 parks right next to each other) and our socks and hiking boots got SOAKED. I was very worried about getting foot fungus when we finally got back to the hotel hours later and the bottom of my feet were swollen with water. Our shoes STINK horribly.

The reason we even went alllll the way to Florida was for Universal's Halloween Horror Nights. They were basically mazes based off of popular movies/games, and they have REAL movie props and actors, instead of some broke teens trying to make a few bucks during the Halloween season. My favorite maze was based on the 3rd season of the Walking Dead. They had actors dressed up like some of the characters from the show, and lots of details as well. Resident Evil was a really good one as well, they had what I believe were the actual lickers props or at least full size replicas of the real movie props. Those were fun to see!

Well, all of the mazes we got to see were awesome. The details in every one was amazing. Like I said before, I'm not a screamer, but I definitely screamed a couple of times in those mazes, too!

Anyways, sorry to sound like I'm writing a long review. We didn't bother taking the camera, but we weren't allowed to take any pictures anyways of the stuff we would have wanted pictures of. I just had a GREAT time, and it was fun being there with just my boyfriend instead of a group of friends.

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Oct 21, 2013

Heading to Florida!

I'm SUPER excited for this trip! I've been on several long road trips with my boyfriend, but this involves a long flight. I'm kind of nervous! I've been to Florida before, but that was with someone who knows a lot about traveling.

We're going for the Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. I heard about these last year, when they had Pyramid Head running around. This year, there'll be mazes based on The Walking Dead, Evil Dead, Resident Evil (The games, not the movies..) and several others movies and games.

I saw an advertisement about the Horror Nights back in August, and since he was right there, I told my boyfriend about how I'd like to go sometime. He apparently liked the idea and decided we would do it this year! I was really surprised about that. I figured that if we ever did go, it'd be a couple of years from now.

Anyways, just a short post. We're not bringing the camera because my boyfriend says it looks "too professional" and we would probably get in trouble... I just don't want to take it through security at the airport. We'll be going through Salt Lake City at some point, and we've heard horror stories about the security there!

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Oct 19, 2013

Beer Olympics!

I mentioned to a friend of mine about a blog post I saw about holding Beer Olympics. Well, he evidently took that random chance conversation and decided to act upon it and threw his own Beer Olympics! I went to be a referee and ended up participating in the games because an odd number of people showed up to drink. I am a VERY inexperienced drinker and absolutely hate beer, so when our teams were pulled out a hat, I apologized to my partner immediately. We were on teams of two, and my team won. Yeah. Out of everybody there, who had been drinking for years, in fact the MOST experienced drinker was the only one who ended up vomiting (and was disqualified for an hour and a half), I was half of the team who won. It wasn't all just my partner either! I really pulled through for him. I am actually proud of myself! For drinking beer ALL DAY.

It was actually pretty horrible... Half of us considered dropping out or at least taking a nap. We'll have to find a way to keep occupied between events in order to NOT become too full of liquid, because that was the biggest problem... Being too full! One participant actually suggested we all go on a job until we puked so we could continue. We just took an extended break, instead.

We also had pretzels and brats for lunch. The games didn't last nearly as long as we expected it... I think because we didn't have as many people as we were expecting to come.

The games we played:

We started with Beer Pong. To keep these matches from lasting all day, we restricted ourselves to 20 minute games. We had 4 teams, so we played 2 matches, then winners against winners and losers against losers.

I believe we played Flip Cup next. We split one beer between 2 cups, 2 cups for each participant. So for one team, that's 2 beers in 4 cups. Chug, flip, teammate chugs and flips, back to you, back to them.

We did Ice Tray Races, at which I excelled but most people hated. Fill an ice tray with one beer, race against each other drinking it with a straw. Most participants complained about the air you end up swallowing, and this is the point one person vomited.

We were REALLY full at this point, but we had eaten lunch just before the Ice Tray Races.

We started to practice to play Quarters, but just about everyone hated it and we vetoed that game. No one could satisfactorily bounce a quarter in a cup enough times to justify the time that game would have wasted.

We also played Battle Shots, which was definitely fun. We got pizza boxes and drew a 4x4 grid on them, placed 10 shot glasses on them and called out which position (A3, D2, etc) we wanted other players to take their shot glasses off of (and drink) if they were in the place we called.

Then we played Darts. For some reason some people hated the idea of playing darts, but we all ended up doing it anyways. All we did was take a shot before we threw our 3 darts. The only reason I got any points for this the first turn I had was because I managed to throw my last dart into the reset button on the dart board. Apparently, that had to count for something!

This year, our games were more or less a trial. I'm sure we'll work on refining them for next year! Plus, I think we should have 1 more game... We were going to play King's Cup, but it was decided that since no one is really the winner of that game (except the loser) that it wasn't a good game to play.

Hope I've helped start some new traditions! Find us on our Facebook.

Oct 17, 2013

Bachelorette Party Details!

So I didn't bother taking any pictures at the party, because it was mostly girls I didn't know. What I wanted to show you was the party favors I got and why I got them, anyways! I did make a Pin the Junk on the Hunk game that we didn't end up using, and that idea came from Pinterest. I'm trying to convince some friends that we should use it at their Beer Olympics next weekend.

Pin the Junk on the Hunk
Game from Pinterest (this one isn't mine)

We ended up playing a game of Cards Against Humanity, which is just like Apples to Apples but the game is for 17+ of age! I've never played with so many people before, there were 7 of us and I was surprised when we started getting repeats of cards we've had before! I usually only play with 4 people.

Everyone got a pretty pink bag full of Party Favors, including the bride-to-be's fiance. He was sick, so he stayed home that night. Here's a pic of everything that went in the bags:

Bachelorette Party Favors
Mostly Dollar Store goodness

Ring Pops, of course, because it's the "Last Fling before the Ring"! Since I was throwing the party and I'm not yet 21, we didn't go to a bar. I got a few bags of those. I also got girly stuff, such as small lotions, and shampoos, tissues, hair clips, and pretty nail files. At the bottom of the picture are garters I made out of headbands! While we were poking around at the mall, the bachelorette and I looked at Spencer's bach party stuff and she saw a pack of garters and decided she liked the idea of everyone having garters for the party. I did buy lace, but it ended up not having nearly enough. It was measured in feet, not yards! So I headed to Hobby Lobby and got some headbands and simply laced ribbon through it. I made corsages, but I decided on attaching those to the garters.

The stack of green boxes in the picture? I go to Planned Parenthood every 3 months to get the Depo Shot, and every time I go they give me a bag with 3 or 4 boxes of Plan B. I don't really need it. You'll also notice the pile of condoms to the left and the smaller pile of lube to the right of the Plan B. There were several girls who really appreciated this gift, for which I am glad because I really wanted to get rid of it!

Anyways. I'm really happy that everyone took their bags with them, because the last time I spent time and money putting together bags full of favors, everybody ended up leaving them at my house.

I didn't get a picture of the garter that I did make with the lace I got, but it ended up really pretty even though I had to hand sew it. That was a 2 person job! I had to have my boyfriend hold the elastic stretched out to the length of the ribbon and lace while I was sewing. I'm sure it'd be a lot easier with my sewing machine!

Anyways. I got 3 different kinds of nail files, and 2 different kinds of hair clips. I thought the butterflies were really cute! I gave the extras to the bachelorette's little girl, as well as an extra ring pop. She also got a garter and wore it as a headband. Luckily a couple of the girls didn't show up!

Nail Files
3 different nail files, for variety

Hair Clips
Butterflies and tiny octopus clips

Anyways. Hopefully I shared some ideas, especially the garters made out of those cheap headbands! They are 79 cents each at Hobby Lobby. The Plan B, condoms, and lube came from Planned Parenthood (and were free) and everything else came from the dollar store.

Oh, I didn't get a picture, but I after I put everything in the paper bags, I folded the tops once and used a butterfly hair clip to keep it closed. Some garters were made for specific people, so I cut out dress shapes from scrapbook paper and wrote their names on them. When I mentioned that at the party, I noticed all the girls with the name tags take the tags and put them in a safe place. It was kinda funny! 

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Holiday Stress

It's October. It's the time of year I get depressed. And why? I didn't even celebrate the holidays for the first half of my life.

I need to talk about this. I can't afford therapy, or the medication, which I sorely need. I cry half the night for no reason that I can think of. I can't sleep. I know of several people in my life who end up drinking a lot during the holidays. I don't, and I don't plan too when I turn 21 (Next month!) because I have an alcoholic mother and it's just sad what she goes through.  Those people I know drink because of family reasons. I don't spend the holidays with my family. I can no longer stand driving 3.5 hours with my younger brothers to get there. However, holidays and family don't mean anything to me, because we never really celebrated it together.

The only reason I can think of for this deep stress and depression, is because I force myself to make things for my friends for xmas, things that are usually useless but take a lot of work. No one understood what the mug rugs were for last year. People throw away the reusable coffee cup warmers. Liners. Whatever they were. I made corn bags one year. Those were useful. Before they were eaten by mice. Thankfully, I have a sewing machine this year, but still.

So, I'm thinking about just taking this xmas off. At least, limit my craft making for close friends whom I talk to every week, instead of once in a while. I'm sick of making a bunch of small things for a bunch of people. I'm thinking I'll try to make medium things for a few people, and then maybe step it up depending on how I feel.

So. I was just wondering, does anyone else get stressed about the crafting for xmas? I can imagine some do... With the quilts, and far more complicated things for a lot more people than I care for, plus having a job!

We had the bachelorette party today, so I'm planning on posting pictures of the party favors I got everyone and the ideas I had tomorrow. Just to share and give ideas to all of you. We had a real good laugh about some of the party favors!

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Oct 10, 2013

Camping and Acorn Pics

I figured I'd actually share some pictures with you guys, instead of not posting ever and then just posting a wall of words...

Early September I went camping and took the camera. The place was beautiful, but it was an abandoned campground with no toilets. There was a campground up the road with toilets, but it was too far too walk. We would drive up in the morning to use their bathrooms, but suffer through the rest of the day. As a girl, I had a worse time than my boyfriend.

Orange Tree Mushroom
Very vibrant tree mushrooms! 

Here I am being fat in a sweatshirt. They always make me look huge!

Bumble Bee
The bumble bee that stung me... Stupid thing...

Our tiny tent! 

This inchworm liked to pretend it was a giraffe. 

Traveling Gnome
Traveling Gnome.

Here's some of the River, it was low and very still. 

WHAT is this error thing that keeps popping up!? Seriously... It's getting annoying! I can type while it's up but I can't do stuff with the pictures... 

Anyways, before I post pics of the failed Acorn Experiment, here's the one and only Halloween Cthulhu I've managed to make this month: 

Halloween Cthulhu
Halloween Cthulhu

Ain't he cute? He isn't glazed yet. I planned on making an army of them this month but got caught up in party planning instead. 

Okay. so about the acorns. It turns out you can eat acorns, they're just nuts, you know. So, I went out and gathered some from the park down the street. I had to fight the squirrels, by which I mean, when I got close they all ran up the trees and hid in the branches. While I was gathering, they kept dropping things, and I finally saw where one dropped. It was a half eaten acorn! Squirrels need to learn how to hold their nuts better! Unless they were deliberately trying to hit me.

Well, in order to eat the acorns, you need to leach the tannic acid out of them. You can boil them, but I read that boiling them makes them tough to chew. I also read that you can place them in running cold water. Well, I couldn't just leave the tap running for a few hours, so I tried just soaking them instead. Here's the results of soaking:

Little bit of Tannic Acid

It actually got way darker, and I thought I got a picture of it but apparently not. Oh well. I didn't get any pictures while boiling, but the first time I dumped the water, it looked like hot chocolate it was so dark! 

I gave up on the acorns because it was taking so long, the acid was staining the pot and that bowl, and it't not my kitchen or appliances and tools that I was using. I had to boil clean water in the pot, and put a healthy coat of clorox in both the bowl and the pot and let them sit for a while before they were clean. 

I was thinking maybe I can find some pine trees with big enough pinecones to try to gather up pine nuts, but it's getting cold and I'm not sure when to look for the nuts. They are probably picked up by animals by now. I'm really interested in learning about wild edible plants, for some reason. I'm also interested in learning about easy things to grow. I saw a post about green onion, you just leave a longish piece of green above the white part and put it in a small thing of water and keep it on the windowsill, and it'll grow. You just snip what you need off the top! So easy and useful! 

Anyways, I'm getting really sick of this error popping up 1.5 seconds after I close it, so I'll wrap it up. 

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Oct 9, 2013

WHAT is up with the pop- ups!?

I've noticed recently that blogspot blogs that I follow have ads that pop up in the bottom right corner. Since I keep the volume really low on my laptop, I don't mind these. What I DO mind, is the fact that when I click on a blog title to read that post, it will just pop up an ad instead. I have an ad blocker on my laptop, so why is this happening? It doesn't bother opening the post that I'm trying to read, it just opens an ad. What I'm worried about, is that it is happening on MY blog. I want everyone to know that I did NOT choose for that to happen. It's not something I'm using to monetize my blog! 

As I'm writing this, I keep getting an error popping up that forces me to stop typing and close the window. Is it because I'm writing something blogger doesn't want me talking about? Haha. Now that's paranoid.

It's giving me this error code: bX-o85jh5 

UPDATE: Yes, it is happening on my blog as well. Again, I am NOT choosing for these ads to show on my blog. 

Oct 6, 2013

Acorn Fail and Other Fails

I've decided to stop trying to get the tannin out of the acorns. (Read that post here.) It was taking way too long! I'm also not using my own kitchen or kitchen tools and I don't want to inadvertently ruin them. The tannin is sort of staining the bowl and the pot I was using. I soaked them in hot water, scrubbed them, then put comet on the stains for a while, scrubbed them again and most of it came off. Which is, you know, good.

I've been trying really hard to throw an awesome party, but one thing that I was REALLY excited about suddenly might not happen. I bought some lace to make everyone garters. I thought the lace was measured in yards, but they are measured in feet. 4 feet is not 4 yards. I.... Am sad about that. However, there are these stretchy headbands at craft stores that are cheap (hopefully as cheap as I'm thinking they are) that will work just fine. Maybe it won't be as pretty, but I'm adding ribbon to them all anyways. I might even try to make garters out of just ribbon. IT WILL WORK. Somehow. I'm making some damn garters!

I also thought I'd be making headway into my xmas craft load. Well, I've started knitting one scarf so far. I have fabric and yarn for several more presents, so at least I've made some progress. I've realized that when I decide to start working on xmas in July, it means I'm going to spend a couple of months looking up online what I should mass produce for everyone. Except that this year I can't find anything that I can make for everyone. I'm going to spend a lot of time crafting...

In fact, the reason I haven't been posting very often recently is more because I've been spending a lot of time looking up what I SHOULD be crafting, instead of actually making stuff. Or looking up how to eat acorns and wasting my time with that. Speaking of which, I've decided I want to look for some good pine trees and try to collect pine nuts next. There's no leaching acid out of pine nuts, so why not? I want to gather food off the ground!!! It seems to be some survival instinct coming out. Not sure why, but there's no reason to not feed this desire of learning what natural things I can eat that I didn't have to grow myself...