Gingerbread houses and a gift idea from a small peanut business

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
We've attempted to make gingerbread houses around here for many many years. We sometimes bake fresh ginger people to go along with the houses.  But it usually does not end well.  I know some people use glue on their houses but we've never wanted to go that route.

A friend of mine said that the TraderJoe's houses are the best.  I tried to get the kits last year but they were sold out,  This year, when I saw them mid November, I grabbed 3 boxes.

Last Saturday everyone was home and Will''s girlfriend was over so I brought out the boxes and we got to work.  This was BY FAR the best year ever!  No one's house fell apart.  The mess was minimal and everyone got to do their own thing.

Kate's friend, Eden was at our house too so she and Kate teamed up on a house.




Harry was the best at mixing up the frosting!

{it was a dark and dreary day and I am too lazy to lighten up the photos}


Will and Evie got started first.  They were all business.  And needless to say their house turned out amazing.  I was impressed with how well they worked together.  And yes that is hair on Will's face for No shave November:(


Evie is very talented.



Harry really wanted to make one IF he had my permission to "blow it up" with fireworks later.  I said sure.  So, he was going for an abstract look that would lend itself to an explosion.  He loves when I take his picutre too;)




At this point my good friend Amy came to pick up Eden but we would not let them leave.  Dave set out a delicious cheese and bread platter and we drank wine and talked and ordered tickets to a Christmas show while the kids finished the houses.



I love how Harry put the dog and a person on the roof.... all the better to fly off upon impact!


Kate and Eden each decorated one side of theirs. And they "monogrammed" the roof.

Will and Evie's turned out really pretty...




And being the gentleman that I raised him to be he is, Will told Evie that she could take their house home with her.


The kids wanted to have a contest, so Dave was the judge.



{like Harry's t-shirt?!)

It was a complicated and tedious scoring procedure based on neatness, originality and artistic execution.

I think there might have been some mathematical miscalculations (Amy was the mathematician and she had some wine!) but it turned out to be a 3 way tie!!!!

We had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs.  I am so glad that I found these "no fail" houses at Trader Joe's.  I will buy them from now on. I have NO affiliation with them just trying to share the joy!

I do however have a affiliation with a new young business man named Harry (he is my middle son).

Harry started a fishing lure business a few months ago.  He custom paints lures and sells them.  And he has been pretty successful.  A few pros have even caught stuff with his lures.

Image 2

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Caught the other day in a city pond with his lure.


They range in price but are about $10.

  I asked Harry if I could share his business with my readers because a) I am SO proud of him and b) they would make GREAT stocking stuffers for the fishing people in your life.  If you want to order an original Swales lure you can email him. Harry can do any color/pattern on a crankbait, rat-l-trap or swimbait. Email him at

You can follow Swaleslures here on Instagram!

I have to just add here that Harry has been an entrepreneur for as long I can remember.  Remember these ventures and this one and this and this was a favorite too.   He has such a strong work ethic and he loves making businesses. While most boys his age are sitting around playing video games, he is researching, designing and airbrushing lures. And he seems to love it. Dave and I always try to be supportive of his ventures.  I have no doubt he will follow his dream and be an entrepreneur when he is an adult too.


  1. What a great post! I loved seeing the gingerbread houses, and it's great they worked so well! I live in Minnesota and rarely fish, but I'm definitely going to be buying one if Harry's lures - they're GREAT, and it might just be the incentive I need to take my nine-year-old daughter fishing next summer! Go, Harry!!!

  2. i absolutely adore your fam
    i wish we were there to make gingerbread houses & then have dave bust out some cheese & drink wine together...sigh...
    i love ya'll
    hug those boys with facial hair for me

  3. I'm heading to TJ's today! I bought their Halloween house kit, and my kids loved it. Precious pics of your sweet family, as always!

  4. love the gingerbread houses...we've tried before only to have a collapsed house...will have to try trader joes. Love Harry's Entrepreneur spirit.

    1. Yes Martha we had so many fall apart before these. They are fabulous!

  5. If I knew anyone who fished I would get a lure. I went to an event and Kevin Plank (UnderArmour) spoke. He talked ALL about entrepreneurship and how it comes at a young age. Maybe Harry will be the next billionaire?

    1. It would not surprise me MCW. it has been "who he is" all of his life. I just hope he doesn't forget about his supportive Mama! HA!

  6. Those are adorable gingerbread houses! I have also used several bad kits before--I will definitely check out Trader Joe's next time!

    1. Danielle,

      Definitely try these. They work really well.


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