Stuck on you this school year!

The new school year is right around the corner and we have a cute idea to honor this year’s teachers.These brightly colored boxes came from the infamous $1 section of Target.  They were a great way to present this year’s welcome back to school gift.

Adorned with a tag that says – Looks like you are “stuck” with me.  And it is going to be a great year!

These little boxes are filled with a pack of stickers, glue sticks, a bottle of glue, tape, a pack of gum and a cute homemade push pin (we will show you how to make them next week.). Have a great first day of school!!

National Night Out

National Night Out is a national (obviously) event that is dedicated to promoting community awareness.  Establishing relationships among neighbors and law enforcement is the key to safe communities.

This year’s National Night Out is Tuesday, August 5.

Some larger communities go all out with police, fire, and rescue vehicles visiting the neighborhood.  Smaller neighborhoods may look forward to chatting with neighbors on front porches that evening.  Whether you are thinking big or small, be sure to do something with the folks on your street that night.

Check out our Old Fashioned Backyard Games and our Old Fashioned Root Beer Floats for some easy ideas to jazz up your National Night Out.

Lemon Vodka Crush

Thanks to our friends John and Katie, my husband fell in love with the fresh taste and fun prep of this drink.  We shared it with our family over the July 4th holiday and EVERYONE loved it.Lemon Vodka Crush jarUsing a large glass jar (make sure it can be sealed), combine the following ingredients:Lemon Vodka Crush inside

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 lemons, cut in half and squeezed
  • LOTS of ice
  • 5th of vodka
  • MORE ice

Seal and shake consistently for 15 minutes.  This is the hard part, but boy is it worth it!!!Lemon Vodka Crush single  Open and enjoy!!

 

 

Backyard Water War

We love having our kids home all summer, and we don’t want to keep them cooped up in the house when the temperatures soar.  You can cool off during the dog days of summer without even leaving your yard with some great water activities.  Here are some of our favorites.

Beach Ball Blaster

Use whatever water squirters you have around the house and an inflatable beach ball for this fun game.  Simply establish a starting line and a finish line and have your kiddos work together to get the ball to the goal while only using water pressure.

Sponge Brigade

We used the big carwashing sponges for this crowd-pleaser.  Start with an empty bucket at one end and a full bucket at the other.  Have the kids start at the end with the full bucket, and use nothing but the sponge to fill the empty bucket.  They’ll be working as a team before you know it!

Sprinkler

There’s nothing fancy about this one.  A plain, old garden sprinkler will do unless you have something cuter!  Just turn it on and let ‘em run!

Soupy Slingshot

We drew a big target on a folded up shower curtain liner and hung it on the fence.  We were able to find some slingshots (with water-friendly shots included) at the dollar store.  The kids took turns firing their shot at the target.  You can also let the kiddos use water guns or squirters to aim at the bullseye.

Bubble Bopper

A battery-operated bubble blower makes this game lots of fun.  But if you don’t have one, someone can blow the bubbles while others bop them with fly swatters.  Some of the older kids decided to use the fly swatters as bubble wands, too.

In addition to the games we had set up, we had plenty of water guns, squirters, sponges, water bombs, and water frisbees sitting around so kids could be spontaneous.  And moms, don’t forget to wear your bathing suits, too!  With all this water flying around, you are bound to get wet.  And it will feel so good!

Cool Treat

Before the party we placed frozen ice pops in a bucket of ice and snipped the tops off.  Then we put the bucket back in the freezer.  When it was time for a treat no one had to wait to have their pop opened.  One of our little wet friends said, “That is a lovely display” (you gotta love kids).Now, go get wet!!

Hot Dog Bar

Of all the things I cook, my son, Grant maintains that hot dogs are his favorite food (I guess I can stop worrying myself with homemade spaghetti sauce and pancetta wrapped pork loins).  Well, this Hot Dog Bar was a hit with adults as well as kids.Hot Dog Bar 4

We hosted an end of the school year block party with hot dogs as the main course.  We provided all the fixin’s and our guests were encouraged to BYOHD&B (bring your own hot dogs and buns).Hot Dog Bar 5

I scored cute paper hot dog holders and ketchup and mustard bottles in the $1 section of Target.Hot Dog Bar 1

We had more than just the basic condiments.

  • Traditional Dog – ketchup, mustard, sweet relish
  • Chili Cheese Classic – chili, cheese sauce
  • Chicago Dog – dill pickle spear, mustard, onion and sport peppers
  • Tex Mex Dog – diced tomato, Monterey Jack cheese, green chilies
  • German Wiener – sour kraut, onion, spicy brown mustardHot Dog Bar 3

The men-folk manned the grill while we kept the fixin’s loaded.  Our guests went “dog”-wild over all of the choices.Hot Dog Bar 6

Message us and let us know your favorite hotdog recipe or how your hot dog party went.

 

 

3 Ways to Jazz Up Ice Cream Sandwiches

Who doesn’t love an ice cream sandwich?

Here are three ways we jazzed up this frozen fave!

Sprinkles-A-Go-Go

Pour a generous amount of sprinkles into a pie plate.  Unwrap ice cream sandwiches and dip all four sides of each treat into the sprinkles. 

Voila!  Easy. Yummy. Cute.

Ice Cream a la Stick

We have said before that everything is better on a stick.  Cut ice cream sandwiches in half and insert popsicle sticks.   Let your imagination (and palate) run wild.  Our kids used M&M’s to decorate the sides.  After you insert the stick and decorate them, put them back in the freezer for an hour or so so they can set back up.

Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert

Okay, this is a serious crowd pleaser and it could not be easier.

Ingredients

  • 18 ice cream sandwiches, unwrapped
  • 8 oz whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 bag of toffee chips (or you can use 4 Heath bars, chopped)
  • caramel ice cream topping

Cover the bottom of a 9X13 casserole dish with approximately 9 ice cream sandwiches.  Spread 1/2 of the whipped topping on the sandwiches.  Sprinkle 1/2 of the toffee chips on the whipped topping.  Repeat with a final layer of each (sandwiches, whipped topping, toffee chips).  Drizzle the top with caramel topping.  Cover and put in the freezer for at least 5 hours.Enjoy!

A Tie-Dye 4th of July

What better way to get kids to enjoy the birthday of our country than with everything tie-dyed?  These fun ideas were all so kid-friendly that they really got our kiddos into the spirit of things!

Tie-Dye Garland made with Spin Art Stars and Tie-Dyed Filters – This garland proved to be an easy and festive decoration that was crafted entirely by the kid.  After the filters and stars were dry, we punched holes at the top of each and used white ribbon to attach them to twine.  Two easy crafts, one great garland. 

Tie-Dye T-shirts – By sticking with white T’s and red and blue dye, we created the perfect Tie-Dye 4th of July attire.Nate, Emily, Cole, & BrettGrant & GavinElaina & Evie

Tie-Dye Cake Jars with Pudding Icing -  Okay, these are just crazy fun (and you know how we love anything that starts with a cake mix.

Hope you and your family have as much fun as we did!

God Bless America!!

 

Buoy Wreath

I was helping out with a nautical-themed bridal shower and wanted the perfect thing to hang on the door to set the mood.  Voila!  The buoy wreath was born.Nautical Wreath finished 2Supplies:

  • Styrofoam wreath (I used the flat kind)
  • crisp white and navy blue fabric
  • pins
  • wooden letter
  • paint brush or foam brush
  • paint of your choice
  • sandpaper
  • paste waxNautical Wreath suppliesDirections:

To give this wreath a shabby touch, I tore the fabric into inch wide strips instead of cutting it.Nautical Wreath prepThen I wrapped the wreath in the fabric to get the desired buoy effect, using pins to secure.  For the wooden letter, I painted it in this fun raspberry (in keeping with the color scheme of the bridal shower).  When it was dry, I used the sandpaper to distress the edges.  When I was happy with the antiquing effect, I applied paste wax then buffed it off.  See other projects done with this technique here and here.Nautical Wreath finished 1

Shirt and Sweet

Happy Father’s Day!

With this “tie-themed” Father’s Day the kids donned ties and made Daddy a card professing that, “When it comes to Great Dads, he has the job all ‘tied up’!”

(Okay, don’t laugh at this pic – it is impossible to get every shot of these four perfect, but their Daddy loves these faces no matter what!)

Make this adorable shirt and tie cake to fit a dad of any size.

You will need:

  • 13×9 cake of your choice, prepared and cooled
  • white frosting (homemade or the canned variety)
  • decorating icing in contrasting color (in the tube)
  • colorful candies for the tie (you could really use any type of candy or icing to decorate…get creative!)
  • shirt box with colorful tissue

Frost the cake with white frosting.  We recommend then putting the cake on a board of some type (we wrapped a piece of cardboard in aluminum foil) to make for an easier transfer to the shirt box lined with tissue paper.  Then decorate the cake with contrasting icing and candies of your choice.  We eye-balled where to draw the collar, tie, and pocket.  Then we filled in our tie with M&Ms for a striped tie effect.

Cute right?

BTW – If you are in need of a great Father’s Day meal, check out our Steak and Potatoes. You will love how it keeps you out of a hot kitchen.

Lawn Mower Cupcakes

Whether you are celebrating Father’s Day or have a little one obsessed with yard work (like my son, Gavin), these cupcakes are sure to “cut” it.Lawnmower CupcakesWhat you will need:

  • Chocolate Cake Mix (as well as the ingredients to prepare cupcakes according to the directions on the box)
  • Vanilla Frosting & Green Food Coloring (mix to desired shade of “grass green”)
  • Hershey’s Chocolate Nuggets
  • M & Ms
  • Shoe String Licorice

Using the ingredients above, assemble according to the pictures.Lawnmower Cupcakes close upHappy Father’s Day!!