Monday, August 25, 2014

4th of July

     Fourth of July has come and gone...but I wanted to still do a post about how we spent our Independence Day.  I decorated the house with lots of red, white, and blue!

I found some patriotic daisies 

These are the Stars & Stripe Bottles we made at our July Crafternoon last year.

I got the kiddos a big basket full of fun glow necklaces, 
window decorations, sunglasses, necklaces, balloons, bracelets, and other fun stuff.

Found these cute shirts for the kiddos too!

For breakfast I made some cinnamon rolls with a little patriotic flare 
and some red, white and blue-berry skewers.

The kiddos really liked them!


Little Miss insisted she wear her new glasses and necklaces for breakfast

Later that day, our friends came over to join us in some yummy dinner.

I made some of these

I found some fun red, white, and blue corn tortilla chips 
that I paired with some roasted chipotle salsa

I made a little berry salad for the kiddos to munch on too

As for the main meal, I baked these hot dog and biscuit kabobs for the kiddos

As for the sides, we had some 

I really liked the Tangy Coleslaw

I think the Baked Beans & Sausage were really good too

Baked up some Texas Rolls

These Hard Apple Cider BBQ Ribs were amazing!

My friend also brought over some yummy Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

And I baked up a

Served it up with some Red, White, and Blue Ice Cream

I found these funny colored mustaches for the guys to wear

Liam showing me his bracelet chain

and Kinley wanted to show me the basket on her head...I have some crazy kids!

After the sun went down, and Kinley went to bed, we busted out the firecrackers.

Liam and I liked watching daddy light the firecrackers.


My big boy celebrating another fun 4th of July

The next morning, I enjoyed a slice of pie with my latte.

Hope you had a great holiday, we sure did!

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Time to go Home...

     The time had come, our two weeks of vacation were up and it was time to drive back home.  It was a fun and relaxing trip, we were all sad to say our goodbyes, especially the little ones.  Most of our drive we were in and out of thunderstorms.  I hate driving in storms, a lot has to do with my friend and I hydroplaning so that our car was facing on coming traffic until we slid into a median and got stuck in the mud.  Oh it was sooooo scary!  Ever since then, driving in the rain and even snow (another scary story involving skidding off the road and almost hitting a transformer box), I get a little nervous.  Good thing I let the hubby drive.  But eventually the sun came out for awhile, so we stopped for some lunch.  We've stopped at The Mercantile on Main before and it was pretty good, so we stopped again.  We were in luck, they had a German plate on special! YUM!

I took a few cute pictures of the kiddos before we headed back out on the road.

And what do you know...more thunderstorms!

Then again...the sun finally decided to show it self and stay out for the rest of the trip.
It was a smooth drive the rest of the way.

We were sad to be away from family again, but happy to be back home.
Our kitty sure did miss us and we sure did miss our own beds!

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Stars & Stripes Apple Pie

Pie crust from Barefoot Contessa and Pie filling from My Sister's Cafe

What you need:

Pie Crust (need 1 double pie crust)
12 Tbsp very cold unsalted butter
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 TBsp sugar
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
6-8 Tbsp ice water (about 1/2 cup)

Pie Filling
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice
6 cups Granny Smith apples (peeled and sliced)
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour

How to make it:

Pie crust
Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture.
Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix.
Add the butter and shortening.
Pulse 8-12 times, until the butter is the size of peas.
With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball.
Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough in half.
Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn't stick to the board.
Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to the fit the pan.
Roll out the second half of the dough then using a star cookie cutter, cut out some stars, set aside.
Then cut some strips to make the stripes, set aside.
Preheat oven to 425˚F.
Pour the lemon juice over the sliced apples.
In a bowl, combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon.
Coat the apples with the sugar mixture.
Put the apples in the unbaked pie shell.
In a separate bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar, and flour, cut with a pastry blender or rub with fingers.
Sprinkle over the apples.
Cover the apples with the stars and stripes dough pieces.
Bake for 35-40 minutes.
Serve warm or with ice cream then ENJOY!

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Divergent Movie Night

     With the recent Blu Ray/DVD release of Divergent, I decided to host a movie night party for my friends and I.  I wanted to create a table scape with a section for each of the factions, Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Erudite, and Dauntless, that are featured in the Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant books.  I had a great time coming up with ideas for each section from the color scheme to what food and drinks to serve to decorations.  It was a lot of fun and I think it turned out amazing! 

Here are the Factions....

For Abnegation I wanted to focus on the simplicity of things...
Gray table cloth, stones, clear serve ware, bread, and water.
Along with a image I found on Tumblr that I had printed then Mod Podged on a canvas.
And of course a "choosing bowl" with stones to complete the look.

I made some Selfless Bread

and some Benevolent Butters.

I also printed some of these labels I found on Bringing Up Burns,
 then Mod Podged them on some water bottles.

For Amity I wanted the focus to be warm and friendly...
 A bright yellow and red table cloth, a wood plank, a basket of red apples, wood create,
apples chips & dip, hard apple cider, and another Tumblr image.
And the "choosing bowl" of soil.

The Peace Rings are just Apple Chips,

and the Harmony Dip went with them perfectly.

I found these cool labels too on Bringing Up Burns
 that I Mod Podged onto some Angry Orchard Hard Cider bottles.

For Candor I did a play on the black and white theme.
I found a black and white stripe cloth, glass, black & white food, 
and the Candor image from Tumblr.
The "choosing bowl" full of glass.

I made of these Truth Tidbits which were quite tasty,

and some homemade Probity Pastries.

Erudite was fun to decorate too....
Found a blue and white chevron material, some beakers, plastic glasses, 
set up the dictionary (opened up to the definition of Erudite, of course), blue soda, 
some healthy snacks, and the Tumblr image.
A bowl of water set out for the "choosing bowl."

The little beakers I found at Hobby Lobby, 
which I just drew on the lines and numbers, then filled with some blue wine cooler.

Since the Erudite are all about learning...
I made some brain food, Knowledge Nibbles.

For the non alcoholic drinkers, I got some Jone's Soda that 
I wrapped some newspaper around for decor.

And lastly, Dauntless, it was easy to decorate for this one too.
I laid out a black cloth for the table, some black plastic guns and knives, 
some paper targets, burgers, chocolate cakes, and a Dauntless Tumblr picture.
The "choosing bowl" was full of stones shaped like coals and some candles.

I got the plastic guns and knives at the Dollar Tree, then spray painted them black.

In the book, the Dauntless ate hamburgers, 
so these Bravery Burger Bombs are a play on those.

They also ate chocolate cake, so I had to make some mini Fearless Cakes.

I found these cool labels on Bringing Up Burns 
that I printed, then colored in a bit and put on some wine bottles.

I was so happy to discover some temporary tattoos in my new Blu Ray!

I decided to go Dauntless for the party...and a couple days afterward.
 (They were stuck on pretty good!)

It was a fun night! 
I loved planning it all, the decorations, the colors, the food, the drinks.
And especially getting to spend it with some great friends!
Can't wait to plan my next movie night...

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