Total Pageviews

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Chili Cookoff 2015

I haven't gone missing.  I have been busy with two old dogs, a funeral, a chili contest, and a wedding shower.  The last two events are still in the planning stages. things I am doing for the party.  I wanted an EASY target game for my Wild West theme for this year.  So I bought two airbazooca guns from  I spent last weekend shooting lightweight things, and finally decided to use plastic drink cups.  You get five blasts to knock off five cups from a table.  It's fun.

I went through a faze of thinking that I am too old to dress up for these parties.  Then I decided, "Naw."  So the above is my newest apron for the Chili Cook-Off.

 Since we are renting an ice cream machine, I need pies to go with the ice cream.  Logical, you are thinking.  But...I needed a pie cupboard to put them in.  One that was portable, not too small, and made me smile every time I lugged it to the office.  Look what I found on  It is 30" tall.  Now I have to find a Pinterest recipe for tartlets, and get me some there tartlet pans.

Not everyone drinks alcohol with their chili.  We provide water and punch for the others.
The huge drink dispenser at work is GLASS and a bear to wash.  I saw this galvanized one online and tracked it down after a couple of hours--on  It holds a ton of liquid, but better yet, when the liquid gets below the spigot, I can provide a ladel to get the punch down at the bottom.  YIPPEE!!!

Friday, December 19, 2014

North Pole Races Christmas Party Photos

I started with this photo from the party to prove that you're never too old to ride a tricycle.  This is one of the band members taking a break to have some fun.  The adults went so fast down the course that they had to set up barriers to protect the walls.  Their big rolls of drawings came in handy as we used them along the course where the trikes tended to tip over going around a corner.  It worked great.

                               Here are two of the exuberant winners.

This shot was taken through a glass window in the office, but some people even rode tandem on the trikes.

We set the chocolate bar up again.  They filled their cardstock cars with the goodies.

 The band was fabulous.  This was our first group with drums.  We always invite the bands to participate fully in the festivities.

Some of us chose to dance, sometimes in tandem also.

This photo might look like things were slow, but most likely two trikes with kids just whizzed by.

This corner took a beating. The wood will have to be replaced.  But, we have extra and no one got upset.

The potato pellet gun game was a huge success.  The new wooden game box I got on Etsy kept the pellets contained, so no mess.

Above are three of the trophies I made.  I glued the dowels to wooden blocks and sprayed them with silver paint.  Then I ordered nice sized plastic cars on Amazon and glued a small piece of styrofoam into an opening in the bottom of each car.  The top of the dowel inserted and was glued into the styrofoam.  We just printed out labels for them on the office's machine.

Since we have hospitality clients, we like to use their catering services for our parties when possible.  I saw this car as a centerpiece on Pinterest.  We gave it to the overall winner of the races.  He was delighted.  See all the envelopes on the wall.  The trike race winners earned cash, but I had books of tickets for the other games.  if you won, you placed your ticket in the WINNERS' RAFFLE BOX.  At the close of the games, we drew names.  Each envelope held either cash from $5 to $200 OR a WHITE ELEPHANT card.
The table in the top left corner of the photo held a large wrapped box of things I'd collected from drawers, closets, shelves from around my house.  People loved this.  The winners simply chose a number on an envelope at random.  Everyone wants to win a prize, no matter what it is.

I wonder what is in her envelope.

And the trike races continued.

The hostess takes a break.  My favorite moment was when Chloe, a four year old, came to me to let me know that two of the dad's had taken the bikes outside and were riding them through the parking lot.  I reassured her that is was okay and that they would come back.

 We had a full turkey dinner being served in the office kitchen.  It was like being in box seats at a sporting event with trike riders speeding by as we ate.  The garlands on the trees were tiny racing flags I glued onto red and white striped twine.  There were miniature cars as ornaments on each tree.  The runners were racing striped cloth.  We brought the cardboard cars out from last year and I put Santa's Misfit Toy bean bags in each one.  The posters on the windows were of elves driving different styles of cars.
Poster at end of race.

I made this clipart into fun foam, but without the man.  It sat in the kitchen on the counter.

 This large poster went up in the building's main lobby.  I used Sharper Image's cross bow snowball shooters (basically a big slingshot).  We shot small toy elves across the room to hit the poster and try to land them into a wrapped box.  Everyone had fun doing this.
Beside this game, I had the four garden scooters.  The area was wide enough for four people to race side by side.  I had a large inflatable lawn ornament of Santa's VAN for added decoration to this area.

 I don't have any pictures of people playing the above game.  But plenty of them did.  My favorite line from this show was and still is, "What are you babies doing?"  I hope all of you are having as much fun at your holiday parties as we did.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Family photo on Saturn Cruise 2024
                                    Christmas Newsletter 2014-2024

Our family went to see the movie Interstellar at the Space Museum in Imax.  We LOVED it.  The idea of travelling to a new galaxy with a time difference intrigued us.  So, on that note, the setting for this newsletter puts our family in the future by ten years.  What have we been doing in this time lapse?  See below.

1.  Our dogs Lucky and Halley had been in diapers and on their last legs, but by traveling to a new galaxy in 3-D time warp, they were cured of their old age and are puppies again.
2.  Annie found love on the new planet.  By searching "off-earth" she not only widened her horizons, but fell in love with a space pilot.  They got married last year.  He is gone a lot, but she is busy designing the new space station.  She looks younger every day with the difference in years from earth.
3.  Robbie is still earth-bound.  He is working for Disney who is developing a new theme park off-planet.  It is top secret, so I can't give you any of the details.  He still has his home in Malibu and likes working for himself.
4.  Maryanne's panic disorder was released on the new planet.  She is also living on the space station.  Since the gravity is less up there, people aren't bumping into each other and she doesn't feel crowded.  She is singing open-mike at a new club up there and keeps Annie company.  They are both currently taking space walking lessons.  They don't ever want what happened to Sandra Bullock to happen to them.
5.  Buzz and I have celebrated our fifty-first wedding anniversary.  For our fiftieth celebration, we took the entire family on a space cruise.  The photo above is on Saturn.  It was just spectacular there.  Since the time difference makes us the same age as 2014, we still have energy to jog, bike, and run the annual Saturn Marathon when we go up to visit the girls.  Buzz sometimes commutes back and forth to his architect firm, which he relocated to Florida, closer to the Cape Kennedy shuttle port.
6.  In the last ten years, I have trimmed down in order to fit into my new designer space suits.  The latex is very comfortable and stretches well.  Speaking of stretching...I guess I stretched the truth pretty far.  But, you can figure out the truth if you look behind the science fiction.  It isn't fiction that we miss you very much and hope for visits or online chats.  We wish you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and hope to hear from you in the new year.

The Drury Family
Buzz, Jani, Maryanne, Annie, Robbie, Lucky and Halley

Saturday, November 15, 2014

North Pole Races Party

I haven't blogged in awhile because I have been busy planning and shopping for the Office's Holiday Party.  We are back to the North Pole for the Races because it was so popular last year.  I searched and searched online for a clipart of Santa's Toy Shop.  Nothing caught my eye until I saw a photo of a ceramic piece.  It took my awhile, but I outlined it carefully and filled it in with colors.  I added clipart of toys and bows.  I think I caught the essence of it.  It will be enlarged to a 30" x 60" for a photo op.

I combined two clipart for the Post Office 30" x60" photo op to give it more whimsy.  I added the canopy and candy canes.  I bought a wireless air printer that I can link to my ipad and iphones to print postcard size pictures.

One of the race car panels from last year, but with village houses added.

The office has asked me to keep the party themes the same for the future.  So, since last year's office party was the "North Pole Races,"  I am just tweaking the plans a little.  The wives and kids are invited for an evening party since hubby is off of chemo.  Last year I used foot-powered sit down scooters.  This year, there are two types of races.

I have four of these garden carts that hold 235 pounds each.  They will be used for side by side races.  They were tested by thirty-somethings for their FUN QUOTIENT and passed with "flying" colors.

Sharper Image sells this snowball thrower.  It is easy to use and really flings things.

These elves are sold by the dozen on  Since their hands velco together, I can curl them up into a ball and fling them with the snowball thrower.  They really fly.

I bought two adult trikes for the relay track race. These are timed with stop watches for big cash prizes.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Margaritaville Jimmy Buffet Style

Photography by Rachel Bruch, one of Architecture Inc.'s architects.  As are all the clear ones below.

 My husband's office asked if I could stick to the same theme each year for their margarita party.  So I chose Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville.  In a previous blog I showed how I made the large props.  I wanted you to see how they looked with the desserts in front of them.  I spent three days baking, and another day decorating.  I made Key Lime Sushi, S'more cheesecakes and s'more cookie bars, hamburger cupcakes, chocolate chip fudge brownie bites, and vanilla sushi cupcakes.  A friend baked the crab sugar cookies that went in the sand.  I will show those in another photo.  When I found the large blackboard on Etsy, I knew it was mine.

 This angle shows my Surf Shack off to better advantage.  And has a view of the high top table centerpieces.  I hand cut and colored each of the foods on the shack's board.  I love the foam sculptured sun on a dowel with directional beach signs.  I bought him on Etsy also.
In front of my surfer van, sat a tray full of s'more cheesecakes.  I combined 3 different Pinterest recipes for these.  I used Teddy Grahams in the recipe and for decoration.

If you noticed in the first photo, these hamburger cupcakes were served on a surfboard.  I got that idea on Pinterest also.  I actually baked vanilla cake mix in my mini cheesecake pans.  I filled them all the way to the top to get the mounding for the top of the bun. 

 For every three vanilla cupcakes, I baked one chocolate cupcake. 
 I cut those into three "patties."  The lettuce is just coconut with green food coloring shaken in a bag.  The ketchup and mustard are yellow and red food frosting.  Those are sesame seeds on top of each.

Here's another of my sculptures from Etsy.  I used him as a centerpiece for the bar.  The bar is two of the kitchen tables I put end to end on bed risers.

I doubled my sponge cake recipe to use my commercial sized baking pans (William Sonoma).  I rolled them along the long end, then cut them in half the long way to get two long cakes.  There is a Pinterest (of course) recipe for Key Lime Sushi.  I used their filling and re-rolled them.  They were wrapped in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator to let the filling soak into them.  I ordered candy limes from  The chopstick were for effect, but some people used them.


 You can't have a Margaritaville without a beach.  I explained in the previous post how I made this.  Here it is.  I wanted it outside by the band, but it rained.  It hadn't rained a single day in Virginia that month...until this party.  You can see one of my Key West house graphics on the window in the back.

 I have used my boat cooler at six parties so far (pretty good investment).  This year it was a shrimp boat.  It worked like a charm.

 You are viewing the food bar from behind.  The newbie architect actually climbed behind it to take this picture.  You can see the tiki bar with candles which I built 4 years ago.  I used the plumbing pvc bases for tabletop palm trees.  There are mailing tubes under the burlap for the trunks.  Because the bases are filled with cement, no problem with them tipping over.  I didn't bring the tiki bar's skirting around to the back because I thought no one would see it.  Ha ha.  Little did I know.

Rachel Bruch photo

                                                I also baked vanilla and chocolate cakes in my mini muffin pans.  I frosted them with vanilla icing and white coconut. I bought these fish gummies on  They came four to a stick.  

The newest architects (eight of them) had to wear matching shirts.  Here are two of them in the parrot hats I found online to use as a photo op.
Here is a photo of my husband's brother and his wife in them.  They wanted their picture taken in front of one of the Key West houses.  Chip and Lois come over every year and help me prepare food.  Lois is a Navy wife and is a whirlwind at helping with the party.

Here it is if you want to take it to Staples to enlarge it for your own party.

Oh, you wanted the pink one also?

 This one wasn't at the party.  It took me hours and hours to convert it from a pencil sketch I found online.  Then I had to simplify many of the curlicues.

                               The following are just some shots of the guests.


       I am always telling you to have a LIVE band, no matter how small.  Here is "Justine Trawick and the Common Good," out of Northern Virginia.  Worth EVERY PENNY.
 Most of their songs are original.  They've asked if they can come back for the Chili Contest in March.  Of course I said yes.

    We had a great time.  I hope you picked up some tips for your very own Margaritaville.
If you want the graphics for the Surf Shack or Surfer Van, just ask.