Tag Archives: so many activities

LEGO Hogwarts Chamber Of Secrets Completed Set

Standard
LEGO Hogwarts Chamber Of Secrets Completed Set

Hello! During our holiday break, Johnny and I completed the final set from our LEGO haul, which means that it’s time to buy more! We spent about three hours building the Hogwarts Chamber Of Secrets from Harry Potter and it turned out great. With fun surprises everywhere you looked and awesome extras like Chocolate Frog cards, glow in the dark pieces, and a golden Voldemort, this might be one of my favorite builds yet! Check it out:

Johnny and I are frequent builders of LEGO and I can tell that our skills have improved. Considering the size of this set, it didn’t take us too too long to complete it. We were so pleased with our handiwork! Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets is one of my favorite books and movies in the series and this set definitely did it justice.

While the builds for Hogwarts in itself are always really neat, the Chamber Of Secrets gives it a wonderful contrast. I love how you can make the basilisk move in and out of the chamber just like in the movie. It also includes a slide for the Minifigs to go down and the snake adorned door to enter the depths of Hogwarts. I wish that there was a set just of the Chamber because I would be all over it. 😀

My favorite part of this set is, easily, the pictures of Gilderoy Lockhart and I laugh every time I look at them – they are so funny! Expertly placed Chocolate Frogs and Cornish Pixies are also much appreciated and I can’t wait for my niece to come over to see if she can find them all. She is our future LEGO Master!

Johnny and I are fresh out of LEGO now but I already know which sets I want next, as always. I have my eye on the Astronomy Tower and Hogsmeade Village and I can’t wait to get them!

What do you like to build with LEGO? Did anyone receive any LEGO sets for the holidays? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Warm Up With These Indoor Winter Activities

Standard
Warm Up With These Indoor Winter Activities

Hello! I love the way the snow makes everything look like a holiday greeting card… and that’s about it lol. Driving in it is for the birds and as someone who is constantly cold, I can do without the extra dose of brrrrrr. So, needless to say, I like to enjoy my winter activities from the great indoors! If you feel similarly, try out these ideas all from the comfort of being wrapped in your favorite blanket:

Present Wrapping Party:

I absolutely LOVE shopping for holiday gifts but wrapping them? Not so much! Of course, it is a necessary evil and making it more fun can make it, dare I say, pleasant? Invite your friends over for a present wrapping marathon complete with hot cocoa and holiday movies. You can even have a gift swap at the end as a little reward for a job well done.

All Aboard:

In my neck of the woods, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad offers all kinds of fun winter activities and you can peep the falling snow without being stuck in it! For the little ones, they offer the Polar Express and for adults, there tends to be a beer or wine tasting event as you ride the train. If there is something similar in your area, it could be a fun way to shake things up for a unique winter memory.

Craft Competitions:

There are so many winter baubles and trinkets that you can craft and you can up the ante by turning it into a competition. How about a gingerbread house bake off? Creating your own candles with festive scents? Or decorating ornaments for your tree or mantel? The prize could simply be bragging rights or a small gift to commemorate their victory.

Santa Hat Movie Viewing:

If you’re looking for a boozy time with friends or drinking a lot of hot chocolate, then have I got a game for you! Whether it’s a holiday movie or not, put a Santa hat on the corner of the TV and when any character ends up “wearing” it, take a drink. I promise that it will make the Hallmark movie marathon way more bearable! 😀

Winter Game Night:

Game nights are always fun and, this time, you can put a holiday twist on it. Try charades with famous holiday movie scenes to act out. Or, go around in a circle and each person will have to say the next word of a Christmas carol. Pin the ornaments on the tree? A holiday edition of Never Have I Ever? You could even make a photo booth set up for goofy holiday pictures… The possibilities are endless! Don’t forget a hot chocolate bar or trail mix station for your guests!

Don’t let it snow on your parade with the ideas above and stay comfy cozy all while achieving the ultimate holiday spirit! 😀

PS: Spread the joy by putting a “buy in” to each event you host by having your guests bring a canned good to donate to a local shelter. ❤

What is your favorite winter activity? What puts you in the holiday spirit? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Completed Whomping Willow LEGO Set

Standard
Completed Whomping Willow LEGO Set

Hi! Johnny and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving break and I hope that all of you did too! We built LEGO, had a day date, took our niece to see Santa, and (as always) watched so much Criminal Minds lol. I had a hankering to work on one of our Harry Potter LEGO sets and we completed the Whomping Willow in about two hours this past Friday. 

Although this set is a lot smaller in comparison to what we like to build, it is an important one to have. The Whomping Willow set connects some of the ones that we already have like The Great Hall and Clock Tower to make our Hogwarts castle even bigger! Check it out:

Building LEGO with Johnny is one of my favorite things to do on a day off and it’s such a great project to complete together. While I prefer the big sets for more of a challenge, it was fun to bust out the Whomping Willow set quickly. As with all of the LEGO sets, there were tons of cool surprises tucked away in the build like Trevor the frog, the spinning Whomping Willow, and the potions and baubles throughout each room. These little details make even the smallest set exciting to put together!

Now that this set is complete, all Johnny and I have left from a previous LEGO haul is the Hogwarts Chamber Of Secrets and I am itching to start it. As usual, I already have my eye on what I want next which is the Astronomy Tower and the Hogsmeade Village. In non Harry Potter news, the LEGO Haunted House looks amazing and really speaks to mine and Johnny’s spooky selves. 😀

Unfortunately, we don’t have lots of room in our apartment to show off our completed builds so at some point we are going to clear off our Spooky Shelf to showcase our work. Keep it posted for the end result, which we’ll get to eventually lol!

Who else likes to build LEGO? Where can you score great deals on new sets? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Fun Activities To Get You In The Holiday Spirit

Standard
Fun Activities To Get You In The Holiday Spirit

Hello! Whether snow falls in your neck of the woods or not, there is no denying that the holiday season is approaching quickly. Now is the perfect time to finish up your holiday shopping and do some fun activities to help get yourself and family into the winter spirit. No matter the weather where you are, these ideas will always be a hit:

Have A Holiday Card Drive:

Sadly, many people celebrate the holiday season alone but there are a lot of different ways to include them in the holiday season too. How about organizing a holiday card drive for your local senior living center? An abundance of season’s greetings to open on their celebrated holiday is sure to put a smile on their face. You could also select a family in need to cook a holiday meal for or donate presents to. Don’t forget local homeless and women’s shelters or soup kitchens that you could donate or lend a helping hand to. Part of the holiday season is spreading joy to others and these ideas will help you do just that.

Movie Night:

If holiday movies are your favorite, why not make an event of it? Invite your friends and family over for a Hallmark marathon or a screening of Elf and let the good times roll. You could do a gift swap, decorate cookies, and set up a hot chocolate bar for everyone to enjoy. If you want to make a boozy time of it, you could play the classic holiday game of setting up a Santa hat on the corner of your TV and taking a drink every time an actor ends up “wearing” it. I, myself, have never participated in this but I think it’s hilarious lol.

Holiday Lights Tour:

Grown ups and children alike love seeing holiday lights so take a tour in the evening. Go for a drive and scope out all of the wonderful decorations that different houses have set up. Bring something warm to drink, crank the carols, and experience holiday magic from the comfort of your car. You could even leave a small gift on the doorstep of whichever home was your favorite to commend them for their hard work.

Get Crafty:

I had so much fun participating in a holiday themed paint night with some of my girlfriends a couple of years ago and would love to do something like it again. Have one of your artistically inclined friends walk all of you through how to paint a winter scene or you could find a YouTube video to instruct you how. No matter if you’re the next Picasso or not, it will be a great activity to do all together. Afterwards, you can take a vote and hand out awards for the best creation, honorable mentions, and not so muches!

Bake Off:

Decorating cookies is always a hoot so how about taking it the next step further and hosting a bake off? You and your guests can make an afternoon of baking (and eating) your favorite holiday desserts together. Cakes, pies, chocolate, and an assortment of cookies can be shared and it will give you new recipe inspiration for your own holiday dinner. While the treats are baking, you can decorate a tote or goodie bag to store the sweets in for your ride home.

The holiday season is such an exciting time and the ideas above will provide you with lasting memories for years to come. Happy holidays to all!

How do you celebrate the holiday season? What is your favorite thing about the holidays? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fun & (Video) Games: Animal Crossing Update Edition

Standard
Fun & (Video) Games: Animal Crossing Update Edition

Hello! One of my favorite hobbies to help me relax is playing Animal Crossing, which I’m sure you all know because I talk about it enough lol. At the beginning of the pandemic when Johnny was furloughed, he played Animal Crossing so much that he could no longer do it and I have taken over on our island ever since. Unlike my husband, I have yet to grow tired of island living and play every chance I can get – especially since the game just got a huge update!

Us devoted Animal Crossing players have been waiting for this update for months and, let me tell you, it did not disappoint. There are so many new things to enjoy from this update and after raving about it to Johnny, he even admitted that he might have to start playing again. Yeah, it’s that good.

The biggest things that helped to bulk up your island experience include Brewster’s Cafe, exploring islands with Kapp’n, an outdoor market at Harv’s Island, all of the gyroids, and cooking recipes in your kitchen. Not only can you cook but you can also grow crops other than pumpkins like potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, wheat, and sugarcane. You can even come up with tasty recipes when you go fishing, which makes catching endless amounts of black bass not completely useless.

What I am most excited about from the update is the outdoor market at Harv’s Island. The property behind his house will feature stands for Leif, Kicks, Jolly Redd, Katrina the fortune teller, and much more. Each stand will cost a steep 100,000 bells to activate and, sadly, you can only donate once per day so time traveling will be in order if you want all of the stands quickly. Right now, I only have Leif and Katrina but Jolly Redd is definitely next on the agenda so I can continue growing my art collection.

Another cool thing that the Animal Crossing update offers is 9,000 new items to decorate your home and island with. I am especially partial to the new goodies that you can buy with your Nook miles and have already blown almost my entire savings on my purchases. My haul included a Ferris wheel, balloon stand, carnival games, and train to create the ultimate amusement park on my island. This redecorating is going to take a considerable amount of time to do, though, because I have So. Many. Flowers. to dig up. *eye roll*

If you are new to Animal Crossing, then welcome to the party. And, if you are returning after a long hiatus, then welcome back. This update will have you logging into your island again and again just like the good old days before you abandoned your villagers completely! 😀

What is your favorite part of the Animal Crossing update? Which villagers do you have on your island? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Attack On The Burrow Harry Potter LEGO Set

Standard
Attack On The Burrow Harry Potter LEGO Set

Hi! During the last LEGO haul that Johnny and I had, he surprised me with an additional set for our two year anniversary. To continue on with our Harry Potter collection, he got me the Attack On The Burrow set which is one that I have had my eye on for a while. This build took us about five hours to complete and we just finished it this past weekend – it turned out great and had all of the quirky touches that you would expect in the Weasley home. Check it out:

The Attack On The Burrow is, easily, one of my favorite sets that we have built together because it was so different than any of the other Harry Potter ones that we have. All of our other Harry Potter sets are in the Hogwarts castle and while they were very fun to build, each one was quite similar in terms of color palette and the hidden surprises. The Attack On The Burrow was a colorful and unique change of pace and the end result looks fantastic, if I do say so myself!

The best part about building LEGO sets is all of the detail that they incorporate into it. The Burrow wouldn’t be complete without them and the set had surprises in spades. I loved Molly’s knitting nook where a Weasley sweater is being made and the picture above it of their trip to Egypt. The kitchen is also a delight with a big breakfast on the table, potted plants, and Floo Powder fire place in the adjoining room. And, yes, it does have a knob that you can turn to make the fire go from red to green. 😀

If you look at the pictures of the set in its entirety, you can see that it is built on a slant which adds to the charm of the Weasley household. I didn’t even realize this as Johnny and I were building so seeing it once we were done was another awesome surprise. And, of course, the animal friends like the pig, Hedwig, and Errol was another nice touch. 🙂

It goes without saying that Johnny had to take care of all of the detail work on this build while I took care of the bigger pieces. Thank goodness for that because there was, obviously, a ton. Don’t believe me? Just take a closer look at the breakfast table lol. Next on deck, we plan on building our Hogwarts Chamber Of Secrets set and we are already itching to get started for more witchcraft and wizardry right in our apartment! ❤

What are you currently building with LEGO? Do you have any of the Harry Potter sets? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

5 Tips For Creating The Perfect Jack-O-Lantern

Standard
5 Tips For Creating The Perfect Jack-O-Lantern

Before we visit a pumpkin patch or farm, we might want to brush up on our pumpkin decorating skills. A well decorated front yard for Halloween is a joy for children and adults alike so why not go all out? If you are looking for an activity that extends beyond choosing a pumpkin and decorating it, which will happen too, then click here. Let’s get started:

Select the Right Pumpkin:

A thorough inspection of the pumpkin should include checking for soft spots. This is to make sure that you do not end up choosing a pumpkin that has already begun to spoil. Also avoid pumpkins with deep ridges and go for a smooth-surfaced one. At pumpkin farms, there will be plenty of choices as opposed to you trying to pick the best among limited options within a grocery store, when customers have already bought the best ones.

The design that you have in mind should also dictate the pumpkin that you choose. In other words, do you need a short and round pumpkin or one that is skinnier and taller in terms of its shape? Know in advance what you are looking for.

Prepare Your Design Before Applying to the Pumpkin:

Draw out your design and then use tracing paper to transfer it onto the pumpkin. This can be a design that you have approved yourself or that has been checked with someone else first. However, it is nice to surprise people by not showing them your design until it is carved on your finished pumpkin.

With your design, think beyond just a traditional triangular face and consider creating other Halloween symbols such as bats, stars, or moons. More adventurous still, you could attempt a graveyard scene or a spooky forest. If designing your pumpkin further down the line, perhaps at Thanksgiving in November, then think about alternative creations of say puppies, cats, or rabbits. Children tend to prefer animals because of their familiarity and the cute factor.

Know How to Hold Your Pumpkin:

It is a good idea to hold the pumpkin in your lap as you are carving it. This is the most supportive and safest way to carve a pumpkin. Have the right equipment of a serrated kitchen knife for the main carving and a small saw for the more intricate parts of the design.

Consider Shaving:

We are not talking shaving your legs or facial hair, but the alternative of not cutting right through the pumpkin with every stroke. Instead, sometimes deciding to just scrape pieces of pumpkin away to allow just enough light to glow through your open-design creations. It is always important to be patient when creating any pumpkin design. The best designs have taken much thought and a good deal of carving, and your other technique of shaving should make for a design that is more dynamic than it might otherwise have been.

Incorporating Scraps Within the Design:

Do not waste anything because you can incorporate your scraps or discarded pieces of pumpkin within your design. The ones that you do not intend to cook, that is. For example, you could make hair, a tongue, a pipe, or a chimney from these spare pieces. This will make your pumpkin into more of a character with a personality, a more sophisticated structure, or make it more three dimensional in form. You can be as artistic as you like, creating something for your pumpkin that merely started as a basic idea on paper. Think as creatively about your scraps as you do about the main part of your creation.

Turn your ordinary pumpkin into something extraordinary with the tips above and you will delight your whole neighborhood with your creation!

LEGO Hogwarts Whomping Willow Set

Standard
LEGO Hogwarts Whomping Willow Set

Hello! Johnny and I recently had a huge LEGO haul with three new sets to build. He also gifted me with an additional Harry Potter set for our two year anniversary when our haul arrived in the mail. You would think that we wouldn’t need more LEGO for a while but, on the contrary, we always need more LEGO!

This past week, I went on a Target run with my brother and mom and had to peak in the LEGO aisle to see what they had. I really didn’t plan on buying anything but when I saw the Whomping Willow set on sale, I just had to get it:

I have wanted this Harry Potter set for a while now because it serves as a connector to the Clock Tower and Great Hall which we already have. It is one that I have held off on buying since Johnny and I usually like to splurge on bigger sets but it has stayed in the back of my mind – just like the million other LEGO sets that we want!

I got my flu shot at Target and since the price was right on the Whomping Willow set, I decided that I deserved a treat. This purchase was the adult equivalent of a child receiving a sticker after a doctor’s appointment and I have no shame in admitting that lol. Too much LEGO ain’t enough LEGO as they say! And by they, I mean me.

Building LEGO with Johnny is one of my favorite things to do and I can’t wait to complete the three Harry Potter sets we have on deck together. This past weekend, we started working on our Attack on the Burrow set so be on the look out for pics of the end result once we finish it!

What do you like to build with LEGO? Which sets are on your wish list? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

LEGO Sailboat Adventure Set

Standard
LEGO Sailboat Adventure Set

Hi! A few weeks ago, Johnny and I had a huge LEGO haul which included our Seinfeld set, a Harry Potter one, and a Sailboat Adventure set that we got FO FREE. After spending a certain amount, we got free shipping and the free set and it was a great deal. We definitely have enough LEGO to keep us occupied for a while but, of course, we are always thinking about the sets that we want next!

This past weekend, we built the Sailboat Adventure set together and it was a blast! It also turned out really good if I do say so myself:

Building LEGO sets with my husband is one of my favorite things in the world and we are so happy to add the little sailboat to our collection. There is nothing better than completing a set together and admiring our handiwork and on top of being tons of fun, it is so nice to work as a team to make something cool to have on display. If only we had a bigger place so we could make our completed sets the crown jewel that they deserve to be!

On deck, we have two Harry Potter LEGO sets to build: The Attack On The Burrow which Johnny got me for our two year anniversary and the Hogwarts Chamber Of Secrets. Once those are done, I have my eye on the Hogwarts Astronomy Tower and Johnny would like a pirate ship set. While we are always looking to expand our Hogwarts castle, our Sailboat Adventure set inspired us to begin adding adventure themed sets to our collection. We are thinking pirate ships, islands, and castles. 😀

Although the Sailboat Adventure is the smallest set we own, we have big things in store for it with our plans for an adventure island. I can’t wait!

What do you like to build with LEGO? Who watched LEGO Masters this season? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Revival Of The Billiard & Leisure Room   

Standard
The Revival Of The Billiard & Leisure Room   

From the Great Gatsby to Agatha Christie’s crime novels, the most famous novels that defined the 1920s painted a world of entertainment. The U.S. experienced a long period of prohibition between 1920 and 1933. However, the Volstead Act was tricky to enforce, so it’s fair to say that the prohibition didn’t put an end to social hobbies and leisure activities. Homes from the 1920s often contain a stylish hobby space, where party-goers met to play cards, have a pool game, read books, or talk about everyday life around a glass of booze and some tobacco. The original gaming cave existed already one hundred years ago!

Why is it so appealing?

The 1920s were a period dedicated to free-spirited individuals. After the first trauma of the First World War, the 1920s marked a turning point in the world’s mindset. Worldviews changed and, as a result, new lifestyles appeared. For a start, the war enabled women to play a more active role in society. When women started to earn an income, they also discovered the joy of spending their money freely. The inimitable Flappers were born. They loved amusement. They loved games. They celebrated their freedom with songs, dances, and cultural exchanges, along with young men. It’s hard to think of the 1920s without thinking of the independent women of the time, who were not afraid to participate in every aspect of society, including games. Billiard and leisure rooms welcomed both genders in a great get-together party.

Stage the room:

What would a modern, 1920s-inspired leisure room look like? It would be a lovely idea to refer back to the original leisure room by adding subtle Art Deco touches. Art Deco brings back to life all of the glamour of the Roaring 20s, combining bold geometric shapes and luxurious colors. Exuberance with a deep sense of streamlined symmetry rules this unique style that can elevate any room.

You don’t need to build a historic decor from scratch. But you can inject a soft Art Deco feel through simple decorative accents and focal points, from huge geometric frames to glam lighting. You can bring the room together through modern features that can seamlessly blend with the freedom-loving 1920s, such as statement window frames using the Renewal by Andersen custom windows services or gold and animal patterns for your rugs and textiles.

^^^ Unsplash Image

Make it your hobby room:

Now it’s time to give your leisure room a purpose. Granted, a beautiful wooden pool table would be the ideal addition to the space. But not everyone has got a room big enough to host a billiard table comfortably. The good news, though, is that 1920s parties included a lot of self-exploring hobbies that could be done freely from home. Artistic hobbies, such as canvas painting and sculpting, grew in popularity during the Roaring 1920s. The truth is, that these hobbies are just as relevant today. Most of us rediscovered the soothing benefits of painting during the pandemic. When it comes to sculpting, you might prefer a modern and stackable approach, such as using LEGO bricks which let you build anything you can think of without causing a huge mess!

Make it convivial:

If you are not familiar with 1920s party food, you are in for a treat. Appetizers were highly popular during this period, so you can find plenty of inspiration to create a style platter of snacks. Deviled eggs, olive platters, cheese platters, and mixed nuts are also a winning combo. They’re ideal for sharing with friends, and at the same time, they don’t interrupt your hobbies. You can enjoy a cubed cheese skewer with one hand and still carry on with your LEGO construction with the other. Finger food is instantly friendlier and more enjoyable.

Embrace modern gadgets and textures:

Can a 1920s inspired room introduce modern tech without missing the point? The answer is yes. The 1920s were all about embracing modern shapes and technology. The epitome of the period is skyscraper architecture, which was so popular that interior designers also used to refer to the stylized shape of skyscrapers. Therefore, it makes sense to bring some of the most popular technology and trends of the 2020s into your leisure room. From a smart hub to energy-efficient solutions, modern gadgets belong in your stylish get-together room.

The free-spirited 20s are back, and they are here to stay! After a traumatic pandemic experience, it’s time to tap into the mental strength and free-thinking joy of the 1920s. We deserve to have fun again, and nobody managed it better than the Flappers. So get your imaginary Charleston outfit on and create a room that marries style, modernism, freedom, and feel-good hobbies. May the best Flapper win!

Featured Image By: Unsplash