Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A guide to the White House Easter Egg Roll

A few years ago, after five years of entering the national lottery for tickets to the White House Easter Egg Roll, I finally won!  I won six tickets for me and my family to attend the 135th annual Easter egg roll event.  This is the longest running White House tradition, and only 35,000 people are allowed to attend each year.  This was our first year being a part of this tradition, and along with our excitement, we went in with a ton of questions about what to expect.  I had a hard time finding answers to my questions on-line before the event.  The event does have a facebook page, but I didn't find out about it until after the event and it still didn't provide answers to all of my questions.  So, for those of you who may attend in the future I have decided to provide a guide to what our experience was like that year.

1.  Be prepared to wait---There is a lot of standing in lines at this event.  There are lines to get tickets scanned, lines for secret service check point, lines to enter the grounds, lines to do activities, and meet characters...lots of long lines for everything.  We spent about an hour just waiting to get in to the event.

 This was the first line we waited in, just to get to the ticket scanners.  The tent to the right, was the next line for the security checkpoint.  The tent in the way distant center was, the next line to get admission to the White House I said, LOTS of waiting!

2.  Arrive early---It says on the ticket to get to the event about 45 minutes early.  If you plan to participate in the egg roll itself, or to do a photo with one of the characters at the event I'd get there even earlier.  If you want to maximize your time on the grounds, I would get there an hour to an hour and a half early.  This would allow you to get toward the front of the lines, and allow you to get into the event at the start and do the activities you'd like to do while there.

3.  Bring a stroller---This is really helpful for all of the waiting.  It was nice to have a place for my kids to sit while we waited over an hour just to be admitted to the event.  There is also a great deal of walking, and the stroller was great for their tired little legs.

4.  Pack a back up camera---This event allows for so many cool photo opportunities, so make sure to bring an extra camera, just in case something happens to the first one (dead batteries, malfunction).  It would be a shame to get their, and not be able to get a pic with the White House, or any of the other cool kids characters that are there.

5.  Bring a few snacks and water---You are not allowed to bring food or drinks in to the event itself.  However, we packed just a small bottle of water and a couple of small bags of pretzels for the kids to munch on while we waited in the line to get in.  By the time we got to the gate to get in, the food and drinks were gone, so it wasn't an issue.  If we hadn't packed anything, my kids would have had to wait an hour and a half to two hours with no snacks or one would have been happy then.  They did have free snacks and drinks available, once we were inside the event.

6.  Everyone needs a ticket---This was a big question I had.  My son was five months old when we went, and I had a hard time finding out if I needed to use one of my six tickets for him.  I found out at the gate that EVERYONE regardless of age needs a ticket for entry into the event.  So, whether you're one day old or 150 years old, you need your own individual ticket or you will not be admitted.  I also verified this on the White House Easter egg roll facebook page.

7.  Prioritize your must see/do's---There is so much going on at the event, from character visits, storytimes, live music, and other various events, it is hard to see everything in the short amount of time allotted for each session.  Again, be prepared to wait in long lines for any of these attractions and events inside.  If I had it to do over again, I would have looked at the schedule and picked a few of the things we really wanted to do/see, instead of running around like crazy people trying to see and do it all.  My middle daughter spent most of her time photo bombing other visitors, because she just wanted to see it all.  It also resulted in my husband hearing a lot of "Sir, there's a line for that!".

8.  Don't be afraid to utilize the volunteers---The event can get kind of crazy, and crowded for sure.  There are volunteers working the event that are glad to help, whether it be giving directions to a particular attraction or character you may want to catch, or snapping your family photo in front of the White House.  We asked one of the volunteers to take our family photo in front of the White House, and he was so happy and eager to help us get a great photo.

And most importantly, remember to enjoy and savor this amazing moment!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

We appreciate our teachers!

So, as many of you know this week is teacher appreciation week.  My four year old is in preschool this year, so this was our first time celebrating our teachers.  At the beginning of the week, us the parents put on a brunch for our preschool teachers.  I was in charge of bringing a nut free quiche, that was also to be made in a nut free facility...I failed at this.  It was a lot harder than it sounds to find a quiche made in a nut free facility, and yes it had to be prepared commercially as my house is a case of anaphylactic shock waiting to happen for someone with a nut allergy.  I did not kill the teacher with my possibly cross contaminated that was a win.  In an attempt to make up for my deadly quiche, I decided to make some cute little gifts for the teachers that would not pose any health threats. 

I scoured Pinterest to see what the other crafty mommas were doing, and to get some inspiration.  I saw all these corny but cute ideas and decided I too wanted to be corny but cute, but also somewhat original.  I saw the packets of seeds with the tag that thanked the teacher for helping me grow, and the straw cup with drink mix that said "thanks for quenching my thirst for knowledge"...all of them were cute and corny, but seemed somewhat overdone.  Not to be outdone by the corny Pinterest masses, I went off on my own and came up with this gem.  Behold my cute and corny teacher appreciation gift!

I know what you're going to say, this is crazy corny...but, come on, you've got to admit it's pretty darn cute!

To make this awesome gift, I searched Pinterest for a free printable key themed gift tag.  I found this one that I liked, but there were so many others too.  I then wrote "Education is the key to success.  Thank you for being my teacher!" and had my daughter sign it.  Being a Thirty-One consultant, I have a ton of key fobs on hand that I use as hostess thank you gifts, so I grabbed a key fob and tied it on the card with some curling ribbon...done!  Super easy, super cheap, and super cute! 

We gave these to the teachers today, and not to toot my own horn, but they were a big hit!  I suppose you could make a cute typed card for the gift, but I think there's something to be said for the old school hand written thank you note.  Enjoy!

FYI---We also included the good old nail file with a tag that said "I'd file you under 'A' for awesome!  Thanks for being an Awesome teacher!"...I know, ridiculous...I just can't help myself :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Did someone say peep s'mores?

Truth be told, my girls are super picky eaters.  I'm constantly trying to find new things I can make for them, in an attempt to broaden their food horizons.  I get sick of making the same old things time after time.  Now I know this recipe is neither healthy, nor nutritious, but we follow the idea of everything in moderation in our sweets are okay from time to time.

I like to make themed treats for my girls around the holidays.  For example, for Christmas I made the melted snowman cookies, for Halloween we had ghost lollipops.  So, when I saw this cute idea posted from a pampered chef relative on facebook (Dinner with Pampered Patsy), I knew we just had to make it.  It's really quite simple, and an ingenious way to use up all of those peeps the kids get around Easter (or any holiday really now).

Step 1:  To make these adorable peep s'mores, you'll need to gather the usual s'more suspects, chocolate bars, graham crackers, and instead of plain old marshmallows you'll use Peeps.

Step 2:  Assemble as you would a normal s'more.  Start with a graham cracker square on the bottom, followed by a strip of a Hershey's chocolate bar, and topped with a peep.  Place the s'more on a microwave safe plate.

Step 3:  Now, comes the fun part!  Pop this in the microwave for 12 seconds, and watch the peep grow.  Once the microwave stops, he'll shrink right down, so don't worry about a huge peep mess all over the microwave. Once out of the microwave top with the other graham cracker square and enjoy!

My girls not only loved eating these, but loved making them too.  It was something so easy for small little hands to put together, and they were so excited to be able to cook it themselves and push the buttons on the microwave.  Their most favorite part however, was watching the peep grow while it was cooking in the microwave...who knew a box of Peeps could be so much fun!

Stay tuned for the never ending baby's finally coming to an end!

Friday, March 1, 2013

I'm back!

It's been quite awhile now, and I've missed all of you terribly.  My intention when starting this blog was to document my current projects and hopefully stay motivated to finish them in the process.  Well, life got in the way a little.  I started work toward finishing my Master's, had another baby, team know, all the usual stuff.  Life has settled down a little since then, and I am slowly getting back into my crafting.  I got a dehydrator for Christmas and have been dying to experiment with it.  I've also been pinning things like crazy on Pinterest and have a million and one projects to try.  I've already gotten started on a few things and have a couple things I'm just finishing up.  So, my pledge to you dear readers, is that I will be keeping you up to date on all of my crafting from this point on!  I know, hard to believe since I left everyone hanging for so long, but I promise...Scout's honor.

Just to keep your interest peaked, I'll give you a few hints about what's in store.  Be prepared to see one of the cutest baby blankets, some busy book awesomeness, fairy house fabulousness, and some delish dehydrator creations!  I know, you can hardly contain your excitement!  Me either!

So, if you made it this far, stay tuned to see what I've been up to.   Got something you want to see me try?  Leave me a comment, and maybe, just maybe I'll give it a whirl!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Welcome from the yarnaholic!

Welcome to my blog!  First, let me apologize now for any spelling and grammar mistakes there may be on this blog.  I am by no means a professional writer...but I do try my best.  If you know me, you know that I am a craftaholic.  I enjoy doing most crafty and domesticated things.  I am a jack of many crafts, but master of few.  I am notorious for starting projects and putting them aside when I get bored, just to start another project.  I'm also a yarnaholic.  There.  I said it.  I'm a yarnaholic.  The size of my yarn stash is obscene...but I just can't help myself.  When I walk into a yarn store and see all of that beautiful fiber, I need it.  I look at all of the different colors, textures, and fibers and imagine all of these different projects I could make from them.  I select my favorites with this imagined pattern in mind, and then I make my purchase.  I bring the yarn home, and carefully add it to my yarn stash (which currently lives in the basement since we moved last summer).  There it stays until (if ever) I get around to starting the intended project.  Sometimes I actually start the project right away, but a few weeks later I'm bored and the project gets put aside for a quicker project...or at least until I'm interested in the project again.

My hope for this blog is to keep me motivated to finish some of these set aside projects, and to also keep me motivated to finish when I start a new one.  Having two young kids doesn't leave me much time to craft, but I really need to make the time.  Crafting is my release, particularly knitting.  If I'm stressed, I can just start knitting and a short time later I start to feel more relaxed and less stressed.  I'm hoping this blog will give me the push I need to make that time for myself, and to finish my projects.  I look forward to sharing my projects and progress...wish me luck!  BTW---I'll post a picture of the obscene yarn stash soon, I promise.