Giant Gingerbread House Project

I was asked by a residential interior designer if I'd be interested in making a gingerbread house replica of his client's house. I honestly wasn't sure if I could do it, I'd never undertaken anything like it before. But I said yes. Thankfully he trusted me and encouraged me and it turned out really neat.

Our kitchen table was overtaken for over a week, I dumped sugar all over the floor multiple times and we ate our dinners on the floor but I'm so proud of it.

I started with a cardboard model and then started making gingerbread pieces. I love building models and working with my hands so it was really fun to combine that with my knowledge of architecture and being able to read plans and drawings. I absolutely love how it turned out and I was a little sad to see it leave my table.

 Joshua was beyond supportive and even made me board with mitered corners for it. I think I squealed "look look that is so cute" a million times and he came over and looked and was genuinely interested. I owe him a date night I think :)

It is all edible and the gingerbread is actually quite tasty.
It was delivered yesterday, hope they loved it!


The Final Harry Potter Party

We had our final Harry Potter party to watch the Deathly Hallows part 2. Liz has now at least seen all the movies so we can be friends again, can't be good friends though because that requires reading the books!

I went with a horocrux theme and we decided to try out being death eaters. Conclusion- we can't do the scary well but we nailed the happy death eater look!

We had decorations and even our own entry into the Ministry of Magic!

And of course themed food - horocrux cupcakes and a deathly hallows symbol pizza as well as Bertie Bott's every flavor beans and licorice wands. I really think even though our wand cores were sugar and that they had extreme flexibility that we really helped Harry defeat Voldemort.
Then we spent the rest of the afternoon making 5 different types of Christmas cookies together and watching old claymation Christmas movies. It was a very very fabulous Sunday!!


Enrobing Eugene

Eugene finally got some lights added. I am a scrooge about over Christmas decorating, but I love Christmas lights. We ran some up our banister that softly twinkle and the first thing I do when I get home at night is plug them in.
Our ornament collection is a bit overwhelming for little Eugene but how can you leave any out!
We drank old fashioneds and ate candy and added a little Christmas cheer to the Elrod apartment.

I love my custom painted Agatha ornament,
she's about to get a lot of use!


Chopping down our Tree

Our last stop on the road trip home was at Green Ridge Christmas Tree Farm. It's a very old family owned tree farm, and also the only tree farm google showed that wasn't closer to the coast/Portland traffic. The family was so nice, we hung out by the fire with them for a bit and even found out they had some family recently move to Cincinnati.

We wandered around for a bit and finally settled on a blue hued semi long needled skinny tree (don't know what type) and since it's our 5th one and we name them in alphabetical order - this one is called Eugene. Eugene is a city in Oregon, and since he was acquired in OR we thought it appropriate.

So far he's still naked but at least we got him up into the stand.


Crystallized Wonderland

On our drive back to Seattle we started spotting all the trees and shrubbery luxuriously draped in delicate white crystals. We both wanted a closer look so Joshua reversed and we found a back road parallel to the highway to follow. We kept jumping out to check out another tree that looked a little different. It appeared that it was so cold the moisture in the air crystallized on ever part of the trees and blades of grass.

If you touched one, even gently, they all sprang off and floated to the ground. Felt a bit like we were in some kind of Narnia wonderland.


Crater Lake Road Trip

To escape the cold a bit we embarked on a road trip to Crater Lake about 2 hours away. We read Harry Potter and ate fruit snacks while we relished in the heat of Richard, the truck. The lake was huge, volcano formed. Apparently record brakingly clear visibility.

Wasn't much to do at the lake so we meandered around for a bit and then heated up the leftover stuffing for lunch.

We spent the evening hanging out in downtown Bend. Played a game for a few hours at a bike coffee shop. Went on a brisk walk to find a used bookstore, we'd finished Year 5 of Harry Potter and couldn't possibly drive home without Year 6 to read from! Skyped with my madre for her birthday in a random alley, and ate dinner at a pizza place. Lucky us they were really behind on service that night. We got a free salad for waiting but little did they know we were more than happy to wait out the welcome of our cold yurt in their heated restaurant.


Bend Snowshoe Adventure

After our Smith Rock hike we did a grueling but short snowshoe hike. Every year I forget just how exhausting hiking in snowshoes up hill is. The top was blustery but supported perfectly clear views of the mountains. We ran around up top for awhile checking out the scenery. The ice formed along the bark of the trees was stunning and abstract. They dropped below the trees in perfectly clear chunks, so pretty.

After the hike we had our Thanksgiving leftover! Turkey sandwich with kale, cheese and cranberry mustard. Love that even campsgiving provides tasty leftovers.


4th Annual Campsgiving

This year Joshua booked us a yurt in Bend, Oregon for our 4th Annual Campsgiving Trip!
We'd heard so many good things about Bend and it was a great trip, albeit cold. Our yurt never got above 40 degrees F (lows of 0 degrees at night, high of 20). We went to buy a baby space heater which in turn yielded us maybe 2 extra degrees of warmth. But as long as we were in our sleeping bags, by the fire, or moving around it was quite tolerable.
Our first hike was Smith Rock's Misery Ridge trail. We hiked on Thanksgiving morning so we had the place to ourselves. The scenery was striking and kept offering views back to the 3 Sisters Mountains and Mt Hood as we wound around the trail. The snow punctuating the craggly rock and giant icicles dripping from all the rocks was a treat. The warm hued rock reflecting in the river and warm sun, mmm, it was a great little hike.

Then we went back to the yurt and raced to build a giant fire. We cooked our thanksgiving dinner over the fire again this year. It had turkey with gravy, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, green beans and leeks, and the piece de resistance the sausage chanterelle kale stuffing! That stuff was killer! I made it in the cast iron so it had a great smoky flavor to it as well. I must toot our own horns, we're amazing at campfire thanksgiving dinner. So pro it even came out done all at the same time and it would have all been warm too if the cold air didn't immediately zap all heat from everything. Our beer did stay nice and cold sitting in its snow bed on the picnic table though.

We finished off the evening with Joshua's numb fingers playing some guitar and then into our sleeping bags pulled up to our eyeballs watching a James Bond movie, thanksgiving tradition.