Friday, November 18, 2011

{Group} Date Night In: Minute To Win It

Last week my brother-in-law and I cooked up a surprise for my sister.  As in a surprise birthday party.  She came home from dinner with friends to a room filled with crepe paper, balloons, loved ones, screaming, and an air horn (blame the husband for that one).

While Jeff did an amazing job cleaning and organizing food and drinks, I was in charge of games.

Now some people might pull out Apples to Apples or Rock Band but that is not the way I roll.

For this party, we played Minute To Win It.  What I love about this is the games are super interactive, you can't help but laugh, and you probably have everything you need stuffed in a cupboard somewhere (unless, of course, your family doesn't use toilet paper).

We played a series of 5 games and then went into "The Skittle Round" where points were tripled.

We played:

  • Dizzy Mummy
  • Hanky Panky
  • This Blows
  • Blow Me (each player gets 1 minute to chew a piece of BubbleGum and blow the biggest bubble possible)
  • Balls in a Bowl--blind fold players--they have to scoop cotton balls into a bowl using a spoon and scooping motion (no scraping spoon along ground to find cotton balls)

For each of these games, the winner got 100 points, second place got 50 points, and all other teams got 25 points.

Skittle Round:

  • Game #1--Have a bowl full of Skittles, a spoon, and 5 Dixie Cups.  Contestants get 1 minute to sort Skittles into cups by color.  Team with the most sorted Skittles wins.  If a WRONG color goes into a cup, ALL Skittles in the cup go back into the bowl!
  • Game #2--Have one partner hold a Dixie Cup and another holds a bowl of skittles 5-10 feet away.  Contestant throws the Skittles to cup (person with cup CAN move it to catch the Skittles). Team with the most Skittles in a cup wins.
  • Game #3--One partner holds a cup 10 feet away from a table.  Other partner stands at table with bowl of Skittles and a straw.  Person must suck a Skittle onto the straw, run to partner, and drop Skittle into cup.  Team with most Skittles in the cup wins.
Skittle round points are tripled (300, 150, 75).

Whoever wins the Skittle Rounds gets an additional 100 points.

When we were finished playing we added up points and handed out prizes.
  • Last place team got hand sanitizer because they needed to "Clean up their act!"
  • The team with the best sportsmanship got chocolate for "Being so sweet."
  • First place team got gold Christmas ornament stars for being "The stars of the night."
  • Everyone else got a ball because we sure hoped everyone "Had a Ball!"
Gather your friends for some healthy couples Minute to Win It fun.  Losing is never so enjoyable (not that I'd know--Matt and I took first place!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Things I Love: Gearing up for Thanksgiving

Awww, it's that time of year again.  You know, when stores skip Thanksgiving and put up snowflakes, Christmas trees, and snowmen as soon as that last "Trick or Treat" hype slides out the door.

I love the holiday season.  I love it.  I just love it so much I don't want to skip any of it.  So instead of listening to Christmas music and putting up the tree November 1st, I like to reflect on Thanksgiving.  Thanks and Giving.  How is combining those two attributes NOT the best holiday of the year?

If you are like me and you want to savor this season of being thankful and giving, please enjoy some of these crafts and recipes.

The Thankful Tree <--click that link for directions

Grateful wall hanging

Amaretto Cranberry Sauce
From Frontier Kitchen
Sweet Apple Cinnamon Brie en Croute

Christmas will come.  Today, reflect on how you can be thankful and how you can give.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What I Think About: The Breaking Dawn Soundtrack

Am I one of "those moms" that got sucked into the Twilight craze?

Guilty as charged.

However, my expectations for Breaking Dawn I are quite limited given the fact that I found the entire book Breaking Dawn to be literary crap (but apparently that kind of crap can make you millions whereas my criticism gets me nothin').  Nonetheless, for my sister's birthday I am taking her to a Twilight Marathon.  We will watch ALL of the previous three movies and then at midnight on the 18th, we'll see the premier of Breaking Dawn.

To rev myself up for the movie, I bought the new soundtrack.

Here's the deal--even if you don't like Twilight, the first three soundtracks were dead on.  Muse, Linkin Park, Death Cab for Cutie, Band of Horses, Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, Sia, Florence + the Machine, The Bravery, Metric ... this is like the dreamiest conglomeration of musical genius ever.  Even my husband who is on "Team guy who almost ran Bella over" can't deny that the Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse soundtracks are pure ear candy.

Imagine my disappointment when I learned that Bruno Mars was the main headliner for Breaking Dawn. I nearly cried, except I almost never cry and when I do cry, it's got nothin' to do with Bruno Mars.  Anyhow, ick.  That was my main thought.

But I'm a girl who likes to gamble so I bought the soundtrack.

My gut reaction to the soundtrack is "eh."  Yep.  That's about all the excitement I can muster.

Don't misunderstand me, there are good songs on the soundtrack.  Iron and Wine re-envisioned Flightless Bird, American Mouth and somehow its mournful sound is even more romantic.  Christina Perry's love ballad is catchy and teens everywhere will no doubt make out to it.  Northern Lights by Cider Sky has a soothing rhythm.  The sweeping analogy Turning Page by Sleeping At Last was by far my favorite song on the album.  There are good songs on the album.

I love that the creators {mostly} gave the spotlight to independent artists; however, I'm disappointed that this album ignores its predecessors' amazing alternative/indie roots and leaps straight into the tween pop scene.

What I think is the Breaking Dawn I soundtrack is worth a listen but since you have to buy the whole album, I'd go halfsies friend and burn a copy.

Have you heard the soundtrack?  Your thoughts?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Days of Play: Pilgrim Hats

So this idea is actually from my sister who, despite having four children aged 11-2 still finds time to be amazing, look amazing, and do amazing crafts with her kids.

Point in case: Pilgrim hats

For this activity you will need:

  • terra cotta pots (enough for each child)
  • black paint/paint brush
  • white foam
  • glue gun
  • flower arrangement foam ball
  • fake flowers (you could use real if you want to :)
To Make:
  • Paint the pots black and let dry
  • While pots dry, cut out foam for the hat band/buckle
  • When pot is dry, glue foam hat band/buckle to the pot using hot glue gun
  • Put foam ball into pot
  • Arrange fall flowers/foliage

Monday, November 14, 2011

Music Monday: Young the Giant

Young the Giant (n.): A completely under-loved American Alternative Rock Band.

Listen. You'll love them and then they'll be less under-loved and my life purpose won't be affected at all but at least I will have introduced you to some great music (and maybe helped these guys sell a $1.29 song on iTunes).

My Body

Cough Syrup