Thursday, December 24, 2009

Gingerbread Houses and Fun Presents

Last night was my family's annual Gingerbread House making "competition." This is our 5th Christmas doing it I believe, and this year I think our houses were the best yet. But before I get there, we started with some dinner...

For the first time ever, I tried turnips. My mom bought a special kind that was very sweet (of course now I can't remember the name, but I promise to come back and edit this post once I ask my mom). I was so excited to learn that turnips are a soluble fiber vegetable I can add to my selection of veggies I can eat with reckless abandon (without hurting my stomach). Last night's dinner consisted of salmon, rice and turnips.

I ate way more turnips than that, but I took the picture when I was still not sure I was going to love them.

We also celebrated Caroline's birthday which was back at the beginning of December. As you may remember, Eric and I had already celebrated with her, but this was our whole family celebration...

Caroline likes plain yellow cake, but everyone else ate it with chocolate sauce and ice cream. I decided to skip the cake and go for peppermint ice cream with some hot sauce instead...

After we were nice and full we began the Gingerbread house making. Caroline and Chris put together the houses for us earlier, so all we had to do was decorate...

If I do say so myself, I think this year all three houses came out really awesome. Jake (brother) was highly focused on his house this year without any girls around to distract him haha...

He had an Irish theme going on...

Caroline & Chris had all new candy this year, so I loved the way there house looked like nothing we've ever done before. This is all the houses, from left- Eric + Kelly, Caroline + Chris, Jake :)

My favorite part of ours is definitely Eric's gumball snowman!

And my pink and green roof...

I was totally annoyed by life yesterday- which tends to happen when you have to control 20 excited kindergarten kids 2 days before Christmas. Fortunately gingerbread house making got me BACK in the Christmas spirit and now I am officially on a very well deserved vacation!

Now it's Christmas Eve and I have already enjoyed a piece of homemade bread (one of my student's mom's made it for me) with peanut butter and banana as a pre-workout breakfast...

I am guessing most of you are done shopping for presents (I hope?). But I did want to share some really fun and creative small gifts that I got this year from either people I work with, or my students. It's so hard to think of low cost ideas that I end up getting a lot of chocolate every year. I can't eat a ton of chocolate and even if I could, it would not be a good idea. Even I used to always give chocolate to my coworkers but this year I decided to go a new route, keep everyone healthier! Here are some small gifts I enjoyed this year...

One of my students gave me a year's supply of napkins, different themes for each month...

What a creative idea, huh?
I have to admit I'm not totally against a little bit of chocolate, I added a few truffles to my gifts for the other kindergarten teachers...

One of my friend's from work gave us chocolate dipped pretzels. I'd love to show you a picture except I ate them all, haha. I like chocolate gifts like that because I can eat them for a dessert or a snack and I feel like it's a little healthier (or at least keeps me full for longer). I moved all my plain chocolate gifts to the teacher's room to be enjoyed by everyone. One truffle won't kill you :)

Speaking of chocolate, truffles and peppermint ice cream, I am off to a spinning class. I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas Eve!


  1. Just asked mom, the turnips are: Macomber Turnip -

  2. um I'm in LOVE with that sleep mask, I'm still using the one we got on the plane over to London SEVEN years ago. hahaha

  3. love the gingerbread house competition idea! my favorite christmas event is the christmas eve ice-skating; that is this afternoon and i canNOT wait! have a merry christmas!


  4. haha, I don't blame you, I LOVE chocolate covered pretzels!!
    This year is going to be tough, as I have two Italian dinners and I can't eat wheat. I think I'll be eating a bunch of meatballs and salami, that's for sure!

    I love the idea of having a gingerbread house decorating competition. That just sounds like so much fun! I want to do that with my family, I may suggest it :) Eric's snowman is awesome. Very creative.

    I had some peppermint ice cream with chocolate sauce at the last party I Went to, just like yours. It was AMAZING. I forgot how much i Love peppermint ice cream.

    Merry Christmas!

  5. I'm not sure I've ever had turnips either but I never really thought about it until now! :)

  6. fun gifts!!! I love the eye cover thingy!!
    Merry Christmas to you too and enjoy your VERY WELL DESERVED holidays!

  7. your gingerbread houses turned out so cute! Love the Irish one! Have a very merry Christmas!

  8. lovely houses, but the pink and green roof totally stole the show ;)

    Merry Christmas, girlie!

  9. Love the idea to decorate gingerbread houses to get in the Christmas spirit!

    That snowman is very cute - and creative!

  10. Awesome gingerbread houses! That gumball snowman is great...may use that next year to out do my cousin when we make houses again.

    Merry Christmas Eve!

  11. great gingerbread houses what a fantastic idea!

  12. Such cute gifts! I love the irish themed gingerbread house- so creative!

    Merry Christmas!

  13. Me and you both...skip the cake and go straight for the ICE CREAM! :D

    Merry Christmas!