Thursday, October 17, 2013

Louisville Zoo Halloween Party

Halloween Zoo 1

The Louisville Zoo hosts a Halloween Party for 15 nights in October and we decided to check it out this year.  Our school was on fall break last week and we stayed home instead of visiting family since my husband was working but we still wanted to do something fun with the girls.  So they dressed in the old standby princess dresses and pulled out their trick or treat bags and we went to the zoo!

The zoo and all the sponsors really do a great job and we were pleasantly surprised as we started to walk through.  They had characters for you to take photos with, a lot of fun backdrops for photos and kids under 11 were able to trick or treat along the way.  The lines to meet the characters were short and everything was perfectly spaced out. 

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Many of the animals were not out for the night but we were able to see a few, especially Aubrey’s favorite, the polar bear.  The 2 previous times she has been to the Louisville Zoo the polar bears were not out as they are rotated with the grizzly bears throughout the day.  She was thrilled to see the polar bear and it may have trumped the trick or treating part.

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I did get a pretty great shot of the lions from a distance and the lighting was perfect.  We even heard the lions roaring, both the male and female.  We were so happy to see that as usually the lions are napping when we visit.  This is also a time when I was glad to have a good camera with a decent zoom lens.   

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It was a great night and we had the best time!  I hope this becomes an event we go to every year.  I linked the zoo’s website at the top if you want to check it out to get more info or current admission prices.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Budapest Part 2

Welcome back!  I am actually posting Budapest Part 2 just a few days after Part 1.  Are you shocked?  I am going to try and stay on top of things here and see how that works out for me.  I miss blogging but don’t have too much to say these days. 

Back to the tour of Budapest.  We went up to Castle Hill and visited the Matyas Church.  It was under renovation but we were able to tour inside.  I love the tiled roofs on churches and this reminded me of St. Stephens in Vienna.  We went up here first thing in the morning and the clouds hadn’t lifted yet, however, by the time we went inside the sun was breaking through and the stained glass windows were stunning.

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Afterwards we walked over to the Royal Palace and wandered around the grounds and grabbed a quick snack in a cute café.

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If you look closely in the above photo you can see my family sticking their head through the gaps in the railings.  After we left the Royal Palace we crossed back over the river.

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The photo below is the view of the Royal Palace from across the river.  It really dominates the hill.

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We walked over to St. Stephen’s Basilica and wandered around inside.  I think it is awesome that most churches allow you to walk around for free or a small donation.

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The last 3 photos are from different places around the city. 

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The grand statues above are from Hero’s Square.  This was a pretty awesome place to check out and was once where Communist demonstrations took place.

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As we walked around some side streets we came upon this statue of Ronald Reagan.  This was to honor President Reagan for his part in ending communism and is located near the US Embassy.

We loved Budapest and enjoyed our time there.  I miss the old world feel of European cities and the way old and new have merged together.  To visit places that are filled with so much history is very exciting and interesting.  I am thankful for the opportunities we had to visit these gems while we lived in Germany.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Budapest Part 1

I finally sat down and began to tackle the overwhelming number of photos from our last 4 months in Germany.  We moved back to the USA 15 months ago and I just kept putting the task off. 

I remember being a little hesitant to travel to Budapest, mostly because we were going to take the train and 8 hours on a train with little girls sounded painful.  And it was.  Thankfully, you can reserve a cluster of seats with a table so we were able to eat and keep the girls fairly entertained. 

Our first morning there we visited Central Market Hall, Budapest’s largest market. It is always so much fun to visit markets as you really get a great feel of things the locals eat and drink but sometimes too much kitsch as there is usually a large selection of trinkets for travelers to purchase.    Every time I walked past these adorable smiling veggies I couldn’t help but giggle.  It was my favorite part of the market. 

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We then headed to the Danube River and took a boat cruise to Margaret Island.  The company we used allowed us to get off on the island and explore a bit on our own.  We rented this a fun bicycle where the girls sat upfront and James and I peddled.  It was the fastest and most fun way to explore the island.

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We explored some 14th century Franciscan church ruins and enjoyed the beautiful spring day.  There were plenty of paths to peddle on and with two people peddling we quickly toured the island.

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We jumped back on the boat and was rewarded with beautiful views of the Hungarian Parliament building. 

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We still had plenty of daylight time so we walked up to get a view of Budapest from above.  One thing I love about traveling is when you come across people from the USA that are from the same general area as you are.  I met a gentleman who was familiar with Western NY and had a brief conversation with him about it and what brought him to Budapest.

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We ended our day with dinner at a delicious Greek restaurant.  The restaurant was right on the river, the staff were polite and the food was ah.maze.ing.  I know, I know someone is wondering why we didn’t eat Hungarian food and I promise we did. 

I was only going to write one post about Budapest but since this is photo heavy I’ll add the second part later this week.   

Monday, September 30, 2013

Beech Fork Covered Bridge, Washington County, Kentucky

Beech Fork Bridge 4

As we are new to Kentucky we have the chance to do a little bit of exploring and discovering things in our area.  In early August we drove 35 minutes east to check out the Beech Fork Covered Bridge.  My husband is very good at finding out about random things so trips are often mini adventures. 

This bridge has been targeted by people armed with spray paint.  It is disappointing to see how little people respect things but at the same time it made for interesting back drops as I took a couple photos of my girls.

Beech Fork Bridge 1

Beech Fork Bridge 2

Beech Fork Bridge 3

The bridge is no longer used for vehicle traffic so we were able to walk through.  There was just enough light from the small windows that I was able to get some decent light for the photos but a bit of a challenge to find some graffiti that was appropriate for photos of my girls. 

Have you had an fun adventures recently? 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ruffle Scarves

Sept 21

I have been in a bit of a slump in regards to paper crafting lately.  Actually, for the better part of the past year.  I miss sitting down and creating a scrapbook layout or card but there is just a lack of inspiration.  I hope to jump back in soon as I love sharing our memories.  However, I have a creative outlet since I have been crocheting for a few years now. 

I finally learned how to crochet using the Red Heart Sashay yarn.  It looks almost like ribbon and as you work with it, it pulls apart and ruffles up. And the ruffle scarves work up so quickly!  I made 3 of them this weekend.  They take about 90 minutes each and I worked on them as we watched a movie and a little bit of football.  I have a hard time just sitting so crochet helps pass the time and I get to make pretty things. 

My girls love scarves and now have scarves to match their cute fall jackets.  I love making them things they are like.  It is a win/win for the Gibson girls.  Now, I really need to finish up the afghan I am making for a wedding gift and I have some ends to weave in on my brother’s Christmas gift.  So, even If I haven’t been scrapping, I have been making gifts for my family and friends.  And I am okay with that…for now.

How do you get out of a crafty slump? 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back To School

Aug 8 Back to School

My babies went back to school 2 weeks ago and I am not quite sure what to do with myself.  I am one of those crying mommas and yet I held myself together until both girls were out of the van.  Our school district has a separate kindergarten building so while my oldest attends the elementary school right in our neighborhood I have to drive across town to drop off the youngest, so holding back tears was tough until she was delivered to school.  I didn’t want to cry in front of them and leave them feeling stressed or sad.  They were so excited to go to school. 

I did well keeping tears at bay but there was a day last week when I looked into the back seat to tell my youngest something and I remembered I had already dropped her off and I cried all the way home.  I still need some time to adjust to our new normal around here. 

On a crafty note, I used my Silhouette Cameo to make the cute apples with their grades.  Of course I needed cute props!  Smile

Friday, July 5, 2013

Mason Jar Mugs

Mason Jar Mug

I know everyone has seen these by now as they have been all over the internet so they are not new but, I tell ya, I had the hardest time finding the instructions for them.  By instructions I mean, I needed to know what size grommet and drill bit I would have to locate or purchase.  I wanted this to be a one and done type of project.

So, I’ll share my supplies with you in case you have been wanting to make these fun jars to keep your drinks bug free while outdoors this summer.

Mason Jar Supplies

I picked up the blue Ball Mason Jars which are a limited edition.  They were too pretty to pass up even though they cost a little more than regular jars.  You’ll need a 3/8” drill bit, a drill and rubber grommets sized 9/16” outer diameter and 1/4” inner diameter.  The grommets were the most difficult thing to locate but I found them at Lowe’s in the hard to find hardware drawers in the same aisle as the screws, nuts, bolts, etc.  There are 2 grommets in each pack for a $1.04. 

Mason Jar Grommets

Then you simply drill a hole, carefully snip off any hanging pieces of metal and then fit the grommet down into it.  Such a quick and easy project and would make a fun hostess or even housewarming gift.   

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Exploring

I realized that it has been over 2 months since I posted!  It doesn’t feel like it has been that long at all.  We’ve celebrated 3 birthdays and enjoyed the spring weather.  We have also done a little bit of exploring our some things in our new state. 

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March 22

March 24

March 24 A

March 24 D

These photos were taken near an old mill about an hour from our home.  I was so excited to see the old truck and snap some cool pictures.  I love finding the unexpected while exploring.  And that red roof on the old barn?  Awesome! 

I’ve been crafting, painting, gardening and enjoying having a home that I can finally personalize.  What have you been up to?