Getting Personal #249: Sesame Street LEGO Ideas

The front of the box.

I knew I wanted this LEGO set when it was first announced. At the time, however, it was a lot of money, and I felt I didn’t absolutely need to have it.

However, I made a decision a few months ago to reward myself with it at the end of May. I’m so glad I did! I was pleasantly surprised that it shipped so quickly from the LEGO website. I bought it on in the middle of a week, and it arrived that weekend.

I documented the journey in stages. There were six sets of numbered bags in the box, and I figured I would stretch it out as long as I could. The entire set is 1,367 pieces.

The back of the box.

Part 1

The beginning was building the street and the base of 123 Sesame Street. Each part had a new Muppet mini-figure to build. Big Bird was first, my favorite.

I love the attention to detail. See the spiderweb?


Part 2

The second part was building Elmo and the first floor of 123 Sesame Street.

Do you see the back wall of Big Bird’s nest?

The bottom floor is Elmo’s room. I love how the windows look real and open!


Part 3

The third part was the second floor of 123 Sesame Street, and Ernie.

This part added the bathroom, with Rubber Duckie, and more to Big Bird’s nest.


Part 4

The fourth part included the roof of 123 Sesame Street, and Bert.

Bert and Ernie’s bedroom is done, too.


Part 5

The fifth part included Cookie Monster, Hooper’s Store, and the apartment above.

I love the details. The stickers really help illustrate the set!


Part 6

The final part was Oscar in his trash can, the garden, the fire escape, Big Bird’s nest, outside Hooper’s, and the Sesame Street signpost.

I can’t get over how much research was put into this LEGO Ideas set! It was well worth the money – About $130 total. The instruction book had fun photos and backstory on the designers and creators.

This will be proudly displayed in my office. It’s currently on the living room coffee table. I smile every time I walk in the room!


I really loved this set. Many of you know how much Sesame Street means to me!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #229: Fifth Wedding Anniversary

One of the many photos of our amazing wedding day! This was taken by Amanda MacDiarmid, owner/operator of Stellar Exposures, November 2015.

Happy Anniversary, Al! It’s been five years today since we said “I do.” Wow!

All year long, we’ve looked at each other and kind of marveled at this year being five years of marriage.

We still love our house. Two big things have happened in 2020 – We replaced our washing machine, begrudgingly at first. It was a great Maytag. The appliance guy was sadder than we were! But, we love our Speed Queen! We also replaced our roof in July. I am a less nervous wife now!

Phineas and Ferb have been wonderful additions to our lives for almost two years. A friend encouraged me to enter a local pet portrait studio giveaway during the summer. I figured, “Why not? I never win anything.” Well, we were one of the runners-up, so we scored a free portrait session and an art credit. We splurged on a wall print of the boys, and we got a photo album as well. It was our joint wedding anniversary and Christmas gift to each other – Well worth it!

Portrait Credit: Bonilla Pet Studio

I celebrated a year with Sentara in September! This year of 2020, as I told my mom recently when discussing Thanksgiving over the phone, has truly been “the year of extraordinary circumstances.” With the COVID-19 pandemic, our work lives were altered, and now we’re holding our breath as we enter into the holiday season and beyond. Above it all, I’m incredibly grateful that we both have remained healthy, kept our jobs, and learned to navigate this “new normal” together. And – We’ve stayed married, and still like each other!

The holidays will definitely be different – No large family gatherings – but I’m excited to make my first turkey for Thanksgiving! And there will be chocolate mousse, as always.

Cheers to many more years! I love you!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #223: Ten Years

Image Credit: BrainyQuote

Today marks TEN YEARS since Al and I went on our first date.

I can’t believe it!

Here are my other dating anniversary posts:


Here are ten photos that are special to me.

November 2010: This was a candid shot taken at the Alpha Sigma Tau Anchor Banquet, just a couple months after we started dating. Photo Credit: Tina Bird Stewart.
Spring 2011: Al and my parents came to Longwood for the weekend when I received my Citizen Leader Award!
Halloween 2011: The love of Star Wars is strong with us.
Halloween 2013: We were on a mission from God.
July 2015: One of my all-time favorite engagement photos!
October 2015: With friends, we did an escape room, played laser tag, ate at Mama J’s and Bottoms Up pizza, and watched movies. This photo was taken in downtown Richmond.
November 2015: Standing in front of the floor-to-ceiling stained glass piece.
November 2015: I love the black and white. Image Credit: Stellar Exposures
December 2019: Al’s company Christmas party!
August 2020: My birthday celebration!

Happy Anniversary, Al! I love you.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #204: 10-Year Blogging Anniversary

This was a happy sight to see today!


Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!

You registered on WordPress.com 10 years ago.

Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.


It’s kind of wild to think about – I started with WordPress to continue the passion that was kindled during a college assignment. In my Computer-Mediated Communication class in 2009, we were assigned to start a blog, on any topic we chose, that we maintained for the entire semester. That original blog, on a different platform, was about movies that I found in the college library that I figured my classmates had never heard of. It wasn’t much at the time, but it planted a seed.

Ten years ago, Hot Shot Headlines didn’t exist. I started, and then deleted, at least two other blogs. I lost my way, and my passion, for a while.

But, I stuck with it. I never really stopped writing, even when I wasn’t blogging. And it’s been an incredible journey.


Thank you, everyone, for your contributions! I truly appreciate all of my readers and followers. Every comment you write is significant to me. I try my very best to respond to all of them!

Best of all, I have made some amazing friends through the WordPress community. So, here’s to you, Kristian, Jenna, Tony, Simon, Ariel, Vinnie, Antonio, Lori, Sara, Didi, Tiana, Destiny, Greg, and others. Thank you for the words you write, the stories you share, and your friendship!

Cheers to 10 more years!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #185: Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom’s birthday!

I’m so happy to have been able to celebrate with her. Today was our regularly scheduled blood drive, and she ran it like a champ. Everyone sang to her, and I bought a fun rainbow birthday cake! We had a good time. She was going to take a nap later.

Hoping to take her out to eat sometime tomorrow.

Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #242: “September WIP Challenge ANNIVERSARY”

September WIP Challenge Anniversary

Image found through Didi Oviatt

Didi has a lot to celebrate every September!

As for me, I celebrate my dating anniversary with Al every year on September 4th.

Here’s the link to Didi’s September WIP Challenge:


Will wanted make their 10th dating anniversary special. Their first date that September Saturday, 10 years before, changed both their lives forever.

Bethany had diagnosed anxiety, but her anxiety preparing for their 10th dating anniversary was especially high. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it. She wanted to impress Will, knock him out of the park, in some way.

Separately, they had shopped for new outfits. But, they were going to a familiar place. Back to where it all began.

In the driveway that wound around the side of their beautiful house, Will polished his red sports car to perfection. It made Bethany get those butterflies again. She thought about how her brother-in-law’s former girlfriend had pointed out the car was Will’s, all those years ago.

Red was a theme for them, quite by accident. Will’s sports car was red. The top that Bethany wore on their first date was red. It was far too small now, but Bethany never wanted to part with it. She wanted so badly to wear it for the momentous occasion, but she certainly wasn’t 120 pounds anymore.

And red was part of their colors for their beautiful fall wedding. Their 10th dating anniversary in September would be followed by their fifth wedding anniversary in November. They were finally taking a proper week off from work. It was going to be their first significant getaway since their first wedding anniversary. Sad, but true.

Bethany steadied herself as she emerged from the shower, still in the hazy fog of wonderful memories. The red dress she’d found through her favorite consignment group on Facebook had been hidden away for months. She couldn’t wait to surprise Will.

She heard the sports car start up, knowing Will would be inside in just a few minutes.

The door slammed shut, causing the dogs to bark. Will was so good with them. They were quiet again in a minute or two. Bethany didn’t have to say a word.

As Bethany toweled off her hair, she heard Will climb the stairs. She caught her breath.

He let out his customary wolf whistle as he saw the dress hanging on her closet door.

“Wow, Bethany.”

She smiled, opening the bathroom door a crack. Steam, perfume, and deodorant wafted through the air.

“You smell amazing, sweetheart.”

“Thank you, baby.”

“Wanna give me a sneak peek?”

She smiled, unable to resist.

Fooling around was going to make them late for dinner, but neither of them really cared. Bethany loved how Will took his time with her, and enjoyed every inch of her.

When they finished, Bethany flicked her towel at him as he headed toward the shower. She put on the dress, and realized her anxiety was gone.

The sports car shone in the September sunshine as Will drove toward the beach. Bethany felt the butterflies give way to nostalgia and excitement. They were going back to the restaurant where it all began.

Dinner felt like old times, but it was full of reminiscing and making new memories. The food was just as good as it had been 10 years ago.

The symphony was warming up for their concert series as Bethany and Will strolled the boardwalk. The only difference was the musical act, and maybe 10 years of age.

Bethany and Will laughed as they stopped around the same place where Will had kissed her for the first time. Memories flooded both them.

This time, Bethany spoke up first.

“I have something to tell you.”

“What’s that?”

“I’m pregnant.”

Bethany smiled and her eyes filled with tears as she watched Will’s face.

“Really?”

“Yes, really. I took a test this morning. I didn’t think it was true, but it is.”

Will wanted to pick her up and spin her around, but he just kissed her.

The stars and fireworks Bethany had felt 10 years earlier, on that boardwalk on a September Saturday, were still there. And now, they were starting another chapter.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #180: Nine Years

True Love

Image Credit: TheloveBits

I love writing these “dating anniversary” posts every year!


Today, Al and I celebrate nine years together!

Here are nine photos that are special to me.

June 2014: One of six weddings we celebrated that year. This was taken at April and Steven’s wedding reception.

December 2014: Al’s first company Christmas party! I loved that dress so much!

Our first Tidewater Comic-Con!

November 2015: I will always share wedding photos.

November 2015: One of our many honeymoon photos.

December 2015: Cheesin’ with my new iPhone.

December 2015: Taken at lunch before seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

December 2018: The day we adopted Phineas and Ferb!

August 2019: My birthday party at Circuit Social!

Happy Anniversary, Al. I love you!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

 

 

Writing Prompt #239: August WIP Writing Challenge BIRTHDAY BASH

August WIP Writing Challenge Birthday Bash

Image Credit: Didi Oviatt

I love Didi’s WIP writing challenges!

Here’s the link to her August challenge:


Hunter was feeling low. He really didn’t like birthdays.

As he wallowed, his phone buzzed.

Happy Birthday!

Hunter managed a small smile. Bethany was so kind. And, unfortunately, Hunter had the hots for her.

As he composed his reply, more texts came in. Hunter’s heart rose out of his stomach, ever so slightly.

People really do care, he thought.

I do have friends.

Then, a puzzling text from Lizzie came in.

Hey baby, wanna meet me at the arcade tonight? It’s half-price!

Hunter shook his head. He loved how Lizzie tried, but sometimes, she tried too hard. And she knew full well how much he hated his birthday. But, she wanted to pull him out of his misery, in whatever way she felt like could work.

Hunter smiled slightly, contemplating his response.

From Lizzie: Baby? Are you okay?

From Belle: Happy Birthday, Hunter! Hope you’re doing something fun tonight!

From Bill: Enjoy your birthday, dude! Can’t wait to celebrate soon!

Irritated, Hunter nearly threw his phone against the wall. That’s how the last two got broken.

He thought better of it. Pacing the room, he only texted Lizzie back.

Sure, sweetie. The arcade sounds like fun. What time?

Lizzie responded within seconds.

6:00. And don’t be late! 

Hunter drove the 10 miles to the arcade, lost in the music. He smiled a bit wider, excited to see Lizzie.

At 6:02, he walked into the arcade. Lizzie greeted him with a long kiss, a flick of the tongue, and then she took his hand and rounded the corner.

“SURPRISE!! Happy Birthday, Hunter!”

Hunter’s eyes went wide, and then filled with tears. Everyone was there – Lizzie, Bethany, Will, Belle, Bill, Robert, Adam, and a few others.

“I’m definitely surprised. Thank you.”

A man of few words, Hunter felt his heart lift higher. He hugged Lizzie tightly, whispered his thanks, and was simply overwhelmed.

As Bill raised the toast of soft drinks to another trip around the sun, Hunter’s smile grew wider.

“Well, friends, this is the first birthday where I haven’t felt miserable. Thank you, Lizzie. Thanks, everyone. Now, let’s shut up and play some games!”


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #69: Holiday Drinks Book Tag

Holiday Drinks - Wide Open Eats

Image Credit: Wide Open Eats

holiday drinks book tag

Found on Page to Page

I wasn’t tagged for this one, but I loved reading Daniel’s post so much, I knew I needed to post my own version.

Here’s the link to Daniel’s post:


Hot Chocolate: Marshmallows and chocolate and whipped cream, oh my! Recommend a book that’s sweet through and through.

Forgetting My Way Back To You

Forgetting My Way Back To You, Karina Bartow.

I read this book as an ARC a few months ago, and it’s really sweet and touching. I noted a touch of cheesiness, but it was also integral to the story. No spoilers!

Peppermint Mocha: The flavor of peppermint is strong and distinct. Recommend a book with a lot of strong emotions.

Image result for harry potter and the goblet of fire book

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling.

It’s so hard to pick a single Harry Potter book for nearly anything. This one runs the reader through the gauntlet of emotions, though!

Apple Cider: It’s so good it can’t be good for you, but it’s from apples – That means it’s healthy, right? Recommend a book full of characters with questionable morals.

hunger-games

The Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins.

I will probably never stop raving about this trilogy. If you’re looking for a great series with a ton of diverse characters, I highly recommend it. And there are definitely lots of characters with questionable morals here!

Eggnog: It’s creamy and smooth, with a little spice, and some people even add alcohol to it. Recommend a book that’s mostly fun, with just a hint of danger.

Image result for safe haven book

Safe Haven, Nicholas Sparks.

This is one of Sparks’ books where I truly felt scared several times for the main character. No spoilers, but it was certainly intense for an author who has traditionally written sweet romance novels.

Gingerbread Latte: A drink with a veritable explosion of spices. Recommend a book with a lot of action.

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins.

This book was one of my favorite reads of 2018. It kept me on my toes, and on the edge of my seat, almost the entire time. Great book!


Tag – You’re It!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #67: The Christmas Tag

The Christmas Tag

Image Credit: The Bright Bookcase

I recently discovered Rose of The Bright Bookcase, and I’m loving her blog!

Here’s the link to her post:


The Rules

  1. You must thank the person who nominated you
  2. Link back to the original post (the one on this blog) and use the graphic provided.
  3. Answer the questions given.
  4. Nominate at least 3 people. (or more if your feeling like a nice person 😉 )
  5. Give the nominees 10 questions to answer (or use the ones previously given)
  6. HAVE FUN! 😀

The Questions

What is your favorite Christmas dessert?

Our traditional chocolate mousse!

Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?

When I was younger, I was allowed to open one gift on Christmas Eve, after we came home from church.

How do you decorate your house for Christmas?

Al and I set up our Christmas tree in our living room, with our pretty tree skirt and tons of ornaments. That’s pretty much it for us – No outside lights.

 

Have you ever built a snowman?

Absolutely! We typically don’t get a lot of snow here in southeastern Virginia, but when we have, it’s been a blast!

Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

Ours is fake, and pre-lit. My parents agreed to try a real tree a couple of times, but we quickly realized how hard it was to keep it watered and upright. The needle shedding was ridiculous, too. It smelled pretty, but that was about the only nice thing. My parents have a beautiful artificial tree that still looks great after more than 30 years!

 

What do you like to do on Christmas break?

Since I’m a working adult, I don’t have an official Christmas break anymore. However, with time off, we are planning to go to Al’s parents’ farm this year, which I love. As a kid, most of my Christmases were spent in Florida, since both sets of grandparents lived there. It was so much fun!

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

The Polar Express (2004). I grew up with the book, audio cassette, and the bell. When the movie was released, we went as a family and loved it. One of our family gifts was the DVD and soundtrack. Josh Groban’s “Believe” is one of my all-time favorite songs.

 

Where do you normally spend Christmas?

Since we married, we usually spend Christmas with one set of family. My parents are local, about 10 miles from our house. Al’s brother, our sister-in-law, and our niece live in Virginia Beach. His parents have a beautiful farm in Scottsburg, Virginia, about three hours due west of us.

What is your favorite Christmas song?

It’s so hard to pick just one! It’s cheesy, but I love “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey (1994). I always sing along and dance to it!

Be honest: Do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts? 

I love giving gifts. I have so much fun picking out things for my husband, family, and friends! Plus, this year I’m being a “Secret Santa” for three teenagers, and I’ve had such a blast shopping for them.


The Questions to My Nominees

  1. How do you celebrate Christmas?
  2. Do you have a favorite Christmas carol or hymn?
  3. Do you like snow?
  4. What is your favorite contemporary Christmas song?
  5. What does your Christmas dinner table look like?
  6. What is your favorite Christmas memory?
  7. If you could take a paid two-week break for Christmas this year, what would you do, and why?
  8. Do you have a favorite Christmas book / piece of literature?
  9. Is there a Christmas movie that you don’t like?
  10. Do you have a favorite Christmas special?

Tag! You’re It!


Happy Holidays!!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂