The start of the holiday season always means one thing in my household, gingerbread houses. Every year our local downtown association holds a Christmas Stroll on the first Saturday of December, with one of the features being a gingerbread contest. The contest is open to everyone and has categories for children under 6 all the way up to professionals. My daughters and I have entered the contest almost every year for the past eight years and it has become one of the highlights of the holiday season for us.
Part of the fun of designing the gingerbread projects are coming up with themes. Some of my former entries have included a lighthouse, Santa’s workshop and Charlotte Web’s farm. I was unable to enter last year, due to a car accident I was in, but the year before that I made a house that was on fire with the fire department at the scene. Click here to see that blog entry.
While trying to decide on this year’s theme, I was at the gym working out one day when I started looking around the place and envisioning all the equipment made out of candy (I know that is not where your mind is supposed to go while working out but what can I say, I’m a caker!) Naturally, my brain settled in on a gym themed gingerbread house for this year’s contest.
My girls also got quite creative with their entries. My 14-year-old daughter is a huge Doctor Who fan so she decided to do a display based on a Doctor Who Christmas episode. My younger, 13-year-old daughter, also got her idea from the entertainment world and decided to make the Polar Express train. I have asked each of them to do a guest blog entry about their displays so be looking for those over the next several days. I do have to share, though, that they took first and second place in the teen division! I am a very proud momma. Here is a quick look at their entries.
But this post is about my entry so … back to the gym. I entered in the professional division and won second place. I am pretty competitive so I am not going to lie and say it was easy accepting second after I have won first place with all but one of my other entries over the years, but we all need to be humbled and the first place entry was incredible and truly deserving. My hat is off to the woman who made it.
Here are some photos of my tasty workout facility.
The front of the gym.
I wanted it to have a bit of the feel of a Gold’s Gym but I named it Ginger Gym (because of the gingerbread and not because it is exclusive to redheads.)
Notice the full glass front doors? These I made out of isomalt and framed with fondant.
Landscaping and chocolate rocks on the columns.
This is the first year that I used dried herbs for the lawn and I really liked the well manicured look they gave.
The left side had a fondant sidewalk that wrapped around to the back.
The roof was made from cut up sticks of gum.
You might have noticed that I only covered part of the back of the gym with roofing. That is because when the gym is turned around, I wanted an unobstructed view into the inside of it.
This was the fun part because I got to make all my candy workout equipment, including an exercise bike made from an Andes Mint, a chocolate gold coin, a jelly bean, a candy buttonalmond slivers, fondant and pretzel sticks.
A rack of gingerbread and dumbbells made from mini marshmallows and almond slivers.
Every gym needs a front desk, complete with an Andes mint computer and a Necco Wafer clipboard.
When you workout you get thirsty so here is the water cooler made from a blue hard candy, a large tootsie roll, a Tic Tac, 2 Christmas light sprinkles and a tiny piece of fondant. The brick wall and wood floors are made from fondant. I used impression mats on them.
One of my favorite activities is kickboxing so I had to be sure and include a heavy bag. I’m not sure how well this one would hold up to a kick though since it is made from a Slim Jim, pretzel stick and Life Saver. I also included an Andes Mint step with small ball candies on the bottom.
You can’t have a gym without a bench and barbells. Here is mine made from pretzel sticks, a candy cane and Life Savers. I also tried a new technique to make mirrors out of isomalt, gumpaste and luster dust. I was really happy with how it turned out so I will do another blog entry soon on how I did it.
Finally, I added a fondant yoga mat and gumball Theraball.
One last look at the inside. Don’t you wish that every gym was made out of candy?
If you want more information on how to make your own gingerbread house, check out my blog post series on gingerbread houses:
Until next time, God Bless and Sweet Dreams.