Saturday, January 7, 2017

My encounter with the Grinch, or in other words, our trip to Universal Studios this Christmas

We are the about the biggest Disney fans you could ever meet.  We even have a Disney tree and get annual passes every year.  But this Christmas we decided, in addition to Disneyland, we would try Universal Studios.  Afterall, it has Harry Potter, which is almost better than Disney, right?

So why am I not blogging about Disneyland?  I really have no idea!  We could teach you so much.  But truth be told, there are so many Disney bloggers that it really doesn't seem worth the trouble to have one more.  Besides, Disneyland is always changing, so we are always discovering new things.  

Well our family had celebrated with a lovely Grinchmas Christmas, so we were excited to see the Grinchmas decorations.  We woke up early the day after Christmas and got to Universal Studios the minute it opened.  We headed straight to the Hogwarts Harry Potter ride.

I have to say that it was more than we expected.  Just that ride made everything worth it. Even the decorations in line were amazing.   

After that we headed over the the Flight of the Hippogryph.  It was ok.  It would be a great starter roller coaster for children.  The best part was seeing Hagrid's hut and motorcycle while waiting in line.

We shopped a little bit then got in line at Ollivander's Wand Shop.  By this time the lines were starting to form, so we had about a 25 minute wait.  It was well worth it.  
Here they picked out someone from the audience to be fitted for the wand.  It was very realistic and entertaining.  The girl took it so seriously, which made it even better.  I'm glad that we didn't pass this experience up.

That's when we headed down to the lower level.  They have three rides.  Jurassic Park was good, but with a little effort it could have been great.  Transformers, which was surprisingly good. And the Revenge of the Mummy, which started out good, but then turned into just ok.

We then headed back up to the upper level, and that's when the lines all started getting really long.  We got in a two hour line for the Hollywood Tours.  This was when I encountered the Grinch.
It all started when I took his picture as we passed by him in the line.  He was not too pleased with me.
I then tried to take a selfie with him, which really made him mad.
Here is where he tried to take away my phone.  By this time he was very upset with me.
Over the course of our two hour wait in line he continued to harass us and other people.  At one point he snuck up on my son and about scared him to death.

That's when he acted like he was in love with the trash can, as you can see here.

At this point we were about to get on the ride.  The tour was surprisingly good.  It even went through WhoVille where the people danced a little number for us.

When we got off we were ready for dinner.  We headed over to the Three Broomsticks where we had about a half hour wait to get in.  
We got the Feast meal and two hot butterbears.  It was delicious and fed all of us.  The soup was very good, but the butterbeer was amazing!
After dinner we watched the triwizard Tournament.  Here are the Beauxbaton girls dancing.
And then the Durmstrang boys performed.  I was a little disappointed that we did not see the Hogwarts school perform.  It did say TRI wizard tournament.

By this time it was time for the WhoVille tree lighting ceremony. 

 I have to say that the costumes were amazing and the show was cute, but very short.  I really wish that there had been a little more to it.

After that we headed over to the walking dead attraction.  It was pretty creepy!

Puffcorn White Chocolate - a delicious treat for any holiday

Puffcorn Chocolate

A few years ago a friend brought me some Puffcorn chocolate for Christmas, and it was one of the best treats I have ever tasted!  Since then we have made it every Christmas, and it is always a favorite.  I thought that I would share the recipe with you on my blog.

It's one of the easiest treats that you will ever make.  There are only two ingredients:1 package of Puffcorn and one package of melting chocolate.
The Puffcorn is made by Cheetos and I buy it at Walmart, but it is never easy to find.  It is never next to the Cheetos.  It's always stuck in some other area several chips away from the Cheetos.  You just have to comb through the chips and look for blue bags until you find them.  I thought I couldn't find them this year, but after really searching I found them.  I usually buy extra because I'm always afraid that I won't find them again.

The type of chocolate you use depends on what you like.  The better the melting chocolate, the better they taste.  I have only used the white chocolate flavor, not real brown chocolate.  I often just use white chocolate chips for better flavor.  This year I wanted bright green so this is what I bought.  I think I sacrificed taste for color, but that is what holidays are all about.  Right?

Place your puffcorn in a large bowl.  Then place your melting chocolates into a microwave safe bowl.  I microwave on high for about 20 seconds at a time, and then stir in between cooking.    

When the chocolate is all melted, pour it over the Puffcorn, stirring while your pour.  It is nice to have help when you are doing this, but I have done it by myself on many occasions.

Spread the Puffcorn chocolate evenly on a sheet of parchment.  Try to spread apart as much as you can to prevent large clumps.

After the Puffcorn Chocolate cools, serve in a fun container.  Store in an airtight container to keep fresh.

You can also place it into cellophane bags to give to all of your friends.  They will love it!
This year we had a Grinch themed Christmas.  That is why I chose the bright green.  We called it Grinch Grub.  I added a little heart and a Grinch poem.  If you would like to print one out for your use just click here.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Grinch Minute to Win it WhoVille Party Games

This Christmas we had a couple of WhoVille Grinchmas parties THAT WERE A BLAST!
The first one we did with the grandkids, and the second one we repeated for an adult family party.  Both were so much fun.  Here's what we did.

You can read the story of the Grinch as you play, or you can retell the story in your own words.

Here's a Grinch Games Scoreboard for you to keep score.  To print it out just right click your mouse and save it into your pictures.  Size it to fit a full size piece of paper and print it in your favorite printing program.

When the Grinch decided to go down to Who-ville to steal the presents he needed a Santa Suit.
Hand both teams red wrapping paper with duct tape and have each team create a Grinch Santa suit in a minute.  The best suit wins.
The Grinch needed a reindeer so he used his dog Max to pull the sleigh.
We premade Max's reindeer antlers out of rolled up paper and tape.  Each team had to tie the antlers on the head of a teammate.  
We had a sleigh for each team made from a box with some string tied to it to pull it.  The team member with Max's antlers had to pull the box across the room and back.  The first one done wins.  

As you can see from the picture that the grandkids thought that they should ride in the boxes.  It just made it more fun, but we should have had stronger string.

As the Grinch was going down the mountain he got into a little mishap and turned into a snow ball.
Each team gets a roll of toilet paper on a large spoon handle.

The team member who is being wrapped up is suppose to turn around to wrap the toilet paper around himself without breaking the toilet paper.  The other team member holding the spoon is suppose to stand still.  The team with the most toilet paper, without breaking, wins.
When the Grinch got to Who-ville he started stealing all of the Who's presents.
I found these little presents at the Dollar Tree.  I used mason jars for the "Santa Sack".  I put tissue paper around the jars with a rubber band so that they looked like a sack.  It made it a little harder to drop the presents into the sacks.
Each team had to drop the presents from their nose into the mason jar.  The team with the most presents in the jar won.  They had to put the presents and the jar into their sleigh.
The Grinch took all of the Who's food, including the last can of Who-hash.
I hid a can of Who-hash in the room and the first team to find it in under a minute won.  I had to give them "hot" and "cold" hints to hurry it along.

Here is a printout for the Who-hash.  To print it right click on your mouse and save it into your pictures.  Then size it to a full sheet of paper and print it out in your printing program.  I cut it out and put it on a 16 ounce can of beans. (I didn't have any hash).  
The Grinch even stole the Candy Canes right from under the sleeping children's noses!
The candy canes were on the edge of our table.  Each team member had to get as many candy canes in his mouth as he could and carry them over to their sleigh.  The team with the most candy canes in a minute won.

The Grinch even stole the Who's tree.
Each team had to remove all the decorations from their tree (found at the 99 cent store) and put everything into their sleighs.  The first team done first won.
The Grinch even took all of the crumbs that were too small for the Who's mouses.
Each team got a small pile of Rice Krispies.  The team members had to pick up the Rice Krispies with a straw and put them into the chimneys.   The team with the most Rice Krispies won.  (We actually had to count ours to be sure).

Here's a printout for a Who-ville chimney:

Now the Grinch took the stash up to Mount Crumpit to dump it.
Each team got a picture of the Grinch with his sleigh.  They were to blow the picture across the table with a straw. 

 The team to get it closest to the edge, without going over, won.

I should post the video of my husband and I playing.  He kept holding on to my picture so that he could win.  He's a cheater!  

Here's a printout of the sleigh for you to use:

When the Grinch heard the Who's down in Who-ville singing, his heart grew three sizes.  He decided to return all the stash.
Each team had to get all of their stash from out of their sleighs and rebuild the tree and put back the presents and candy canes.  The first team done won.

This was my grandkids favorite part.  They loved building the Christmas trees.  The adults, not so much.

I found these cute Big Bucks at the Dollar Tree.  I just printed out a bunch of Grinch pictures and cut them out and glued them on.  It was fast and easy.  For the losers I found chocolate lumps of coal.  Both were a hit!

Here's a printout you can you can use if you want to make some:

Here's a Grinch Green dollar that you could use with a candy bar if you can't find the Big Bucks.

I have more than 50 other Grinch ideas that are just awesome.  Check them out by clicking here.

and to see all of my fantastic Christmas ideas just click here.