Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I'm Afraid I just Blue Myself

Andy and I planned to get together with some friends to watch the newest season of Arrested Development last weekend. Last minute I decided it needed to be themed! Here are some photos of the themeyness. Everything is homemade because I didn't have a lot of time to make it come together.

Re-watching the series first! Above the TV is my homemade Arrested Development sign and Tobias' blue handprints.
Making frozen Bananas
More frozen bananas in progress!
The food
The "Menu"
Tobias Funke mustache straws
Candy Beans
Finished frozen Bananas
Front Door Sign
More decor!
Watching the new season!

24 Hours At Disneyland

Photobombing Mike Wasowski as he headed backstage. I didn't want to wait for a real photo. This is better anyway!

In celebration of the soon to be released sequel to Monsters, Inc. titled Monsters University, Disney decided to keep Disneyland and California Adventure parks open for an entire 24 hours calling it the "Monstrous Summer Event". We went temporarily insane and decided we could make it all 24 hours at Disneyland. With a three year old and only $20 in our pocket...

Now it sounds nuts to try that as adults and much, much crazier to make a three year old spend 24 hours inside a Disney park. We knew we had to plan ahead if we were going to make it all 24 hours. First we knew that the little one would need a place to sleep. She couldn't stay awake for an entire 24 hours! We weren't even sure we could! So we got out our trusty bike trailer thing, which, by the way, is a fabulous invention. It not only can be hooked up to a bike, but can also be used as a handy dandy jogging stroller. It is made to fit two kids and is rather wide, but does not have separate seats, so it was perfect for one small child to be able to stretch out and catch some Z's. Plus it could be fully enclosed and therefore slightly quieter inside. We made sure it was extra comfy with two pillows and two blankets. We began calling this her "Chariot".

The second best thing about the "Chariot" is that it has tons of space hidden in the back that can hold a lot of stuff. So we were able to ge our backpack in there with two changes of clothes for the little one, sunscreen, hats, coloring books, sweatshirts, camera gear, and extra deodorant (very important for basic survival with all that walking and in 24 hours time). We were also able to fit a decent sized cooler back there.

The cooler came in very handy with the $20 budget we set for ourselves. At a Disneyland special event that lasts 24 whole hours, you could spend quite a bit of money. They had oodles of awesome merchandise and food made special for this event. Not to mention we would eat three meals and at least two snacks within that time. We knew we didn't want to spend too much and so we decided to see if we could make it on just $20. We filled our cooler beforehand with six sandwiches, seven drinks, cheese, nuts, crackers, cookies and gummy worms. If it weren't for that cooler we would not have been able to stick to our spending goal. We did end up sharing a veggie burrito for dinner at Rancho Del Zolcalo. Andy wanted to try the monster themed hot dog they had special for the event and I wanted a monster cupcake. And we eventually broke down and got some coffee. We ended up going just over budget at $23. Which really is not too bad.

The event was really fun and we got to ride lots of attractions, see a few shows (including the brand new Mickey's Magical Map) and meet a bunch of characters. My favorite part was chilling out in Toon Town around 1am lounging on colorful beanbag chairs watching classic Disney cartoons. They also had free face painting, karaoke and lots of Disney characters in their jammy jams (Yup. I said jammy jams). They called this the Toon Town Pajama Party and we were lured there under the false pretense of free milk and cookies. The milk and cookies turned out to be $5.25, so we chose to pass on that. To be fair it was never stated that they were free, and although it is Disney we are talking about, we weren't the only ones that found their way to Toon Town assuming there was free food.

The little one ended up falling asleep around 10 pm and waking up again around 4 am. She was in a surprisingly good mood. Then again, who wouldn't be in a good mood waking up and realizing they were still at the happiest place on earth?

Yes, we did make it all 24 hours. The last 20 minutes of the 24 hours was spent just outside the front gates between both parks. Trust me, this definitely still counts. Since we woke up at 4 am the previous morning, we were technically up for 27 hours. We crawled into bed around 7:15 am feeling accomplished, yet sore and slightly disoriented.

Frank and Beth joined us for our 24 hour Disney adventure! We would not have made it if it hand't been for them.
Lilly chillin in her "Chariot"
Starting to feel worn out in the late afternoon!
Relaxing to help get us through the day
Spinning on the teacups really wakes you right up
My favorite part of the evening! Hanging out in beanbag chairs in Toon Town. This photo was taken from Mice Chat. We can be seen in the bottom left hand side. Thanks Mice Chat!
We can also be found in this photo from Mice Chat
Relaxing and watching cartoons!
Checking out the special event merchandise
Viewing fireworks from Fantasyland
Sleeping Beauty Castle lit up in the wee hours of the morning

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bluth's Original Frozen Banana Stand

Andy and I went on a search for the Bluth's Original Frozen Banana Stand which has been popping up everywhere from Europe to New York to Los Angeles in anticipation of the Arrested Development series relaunch this weekend on Sunday, May 26th. We are both huge Arrested Development fans and are even planning a themed viewing party when the new episodes premiere this weekend!

Since moving back to southern California, Andy and I have been looking for fun local adventures we can enjoy as a family and finding the banana stand was perfect! Actually finding it wasn't that hard. We both follow Arrested Development on twitter and each night they announce the next days location. We found the Banana Stand at the Grove in Los Angeles.

We decided to arrive early because we had no idea how bad the lines would be. We ended up third in line! But within minutes of joining the queue, hundreds of people got in line behind us. Good thing we arrived early!

We were a little disappointed to learn that the frozen bananas were actually pre packaged and did not have nuts on them like the ones made famous on the show. But they were still delicious! We took a whole bunch of photos, but had to leave early because we had to get to an appointment. I am hoping that they will bring the Banana Stand to Orange County (a little closer to our house and its actual location on the show) before the end of the week so we can go back for more frozen bananas!

Still of the Banana Stand from an episode Arrested Development

Frozen Banana Stand at the Grove in LA!

All the details are there right down to the hand scribbled "Cash Only" sign on the register, price list,  (the bananas were actually free), large Christmas lights, "Come In We're Open" sign, and photo of George, Sr. hanging inside. Even the blue painted barrel trash can is here!

Here I am third in line!

Hundreds of people in line behind us!

Getting our bananas!!!

Lilly enjoying her frozen banana (I could not post the photo of myself with my banana as it was unintentionally way too suggestive!)

Her enjoyment was short lived as she dropped it soon after the first photo was taken :(

With my "Mr. Manager" sticker they handed out at the stand

The moment that made us want to find the banana stand in the first place: When we accidentally stumbled upon the stair car the previous week in LA!

The Charles Phoenix Plate

I finally made a new plate! On a recent trip back to Missouri for our Annual Neitzert Summer Camp Weekend we stopped off at my favorite ceramics studio, Hands On Ceramics! I decided to paint a gift plate for our friend Charles Phoenix with his face on it. As you may recall, I like to paint the faces of people I know on plates...

Hard at work working on My "Charles" plate!

Lilly paints a basketball! Remember last time she painted? She was so tiny. Now she is so much older and so focused on her painting! She absolutely loves to paint.

Our work station.

Andy with his bowl ready to be fired in the kiln.

My "Charles" plate is ready for the kiln!

With Lisa, friend, owner, operator, and artist at Hands On Ceramics in Columbia, MO

Here is Charles with his new plate at the Farmers Market in Los Angeles. He was very excited! I think I got a pretty good likeness... 

Oh yeah, and we live in Souther California now...