S’more Fun with Watermelons!

July 24

Is there a particular fruit or sweet dessert that just reminds you of summer?  For me it has to be the watermelon!  When I see them I can’t help but think of backyard BBQs where they’re assuredly served up…and they can also be a source of family entertainment if you get a good seed-spiting contest going!  This roly-poly fruit just seems to make people smile so it stands to reason that it’s a popular theme for parties!  I served up some watermelon fun for an afternoon treat…but in ways that might not be exactly what you’d think!  Let me share them with you and celebrate the watermelon…

serve up a slice of happiness!

Cinnamon, Ice Cream Style!

July 17
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Yesterday was National Ice Cream Day so I sure hope you got a chance to celebrate by indulging on some icy treats!  I’m happy to say that my family got to enjoy the “holiday” by making one of our all-time favorite flavors…cinnamon!  We were inspired to experiment and create this family favorite after visiting a tiny ice cream shop near my family’s farm in Indiana…the same shop that my mom frequented when she was young!  They had a flavor that my mom loved as a kid and now my kids do too…so we were determined to try and replicate it the best we could since we couldn’t find anything quite like it in the stores!  Not only does this ice cream taste delicious and look divine, but I love the nostalgia which makes it an extra special treat each time we fire up the ice cream maker! Today I’d like to share with you the recipe for our version of the parlor favorite…so let’s churn up some fun!

we all scream…for cinnamon ice cream!

We All Scream for Ice Cream!

July 13

Summer heat is easily beat with that sweet little treat called ice cream!  Today I’d like to share a fun way to whip up an easy ice cream bar with simple decorations and simple ingredients!  If you’ve got an ice cream maker you can churn up a icy recipe or equally as enjoyable, just grab your favorite brand from the freezer!  Set out some festive and yummy toppings, cones or dishes & spoons and call all your favorite peeps in out of the heat for a screamin’ good time!  Take a peek…

ice cream dream!

Let’s Flamingle!

July 10

So now that summer is in full swing there’s a tradition I love to do as often as I can…host an outdoor movie night!  Several years ago we invested in an outdoor projector and let me tell you that it’s one of the best purchases we’ve ever made!  Often times throughout the summer we’ll hook that thing up and camp outside with some popcorn, snacks, and my hubby and I might partake in an adult beverage or two!  It’s really a fun, family activity that’s still appealing to the boys…even though the quality of the projector can’t come close to what the digital TVs are like today!  But for me, that’s part of the nostalgic appeal, it reminds me of the drive-in theater days…back when that quality wasn’t comparable to today’s either!  So when I decided to host some girlfriends for one of our semi-regular movie-night gatherings I knew we needed to do it outside!  And with the collaborative help from a talented designer friend of mine, we chose a popular summertime theme and ran with it!  A “flamingle” outdoor movie party is such a fun and whimsical way to celebrate summer…whether it’s a grown-up girl’s night out or a teen or tween party, a flamingo-inspired celebration is the perfect way to create a festive event for a flock of your friends!  Let me share some pink party inspiration…

flocktails and friendship!

Disney Magic

July 6

Shortly after school got out for the summer, we were lucky enough to spend a little time in one of my most favorite places…Disney World!  We have been fortunate to travel there often as the boys were growing and it became a family tradition to go every couple years, many times with my parents joining in on the fun!  Our trips there have left me with wonderful memories…capturing forever the visions of the childlike excitement in the happiest place on earth!  And even as the boys have grown, there were always new and different experiences that were perfect for their ages…and let’s face it, if you’re a Disney fan you’re most likely to love the experience whether you’re 5 or 75!  For me, it’s a place full of sweetness and imagination, where you can dream and dare, and just feel like a kid again for a moment or two!  It really is a magical location filled with laughter and whimsy…but also lots of time to relax, unwind, and enjoy the views!  Let me share another side of Disney…

magical kick-off to summer!

Firecracker Fun!

June 29
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Next Tuesday is the Fourth of July!  I absolutely love this summertime holiday…it’s so fun & festive and it also makes me feel like summer has really arrived!  One of my favorite things about the 4th, aside from the holiday colors, would have to be the fireworks!  Whether watching a holiday show light up the night sky or just having some good old-fashioned sparkler fun in the backyard…it just wouldn’t seem right to not have some kind of sparkle in our celebration!  So today, I’m sharing an easy, patriotic DIY that can add some fun decor to your home or holiday gathering…and it just happens to remind me of my favorite thing!  Let’s craft up some sparkle…

crackle, fizzle…kaboom!

Pineapples on the Patio

June 26
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I was completely thrilled when I was asked earlier this spring if I would contribute a party idea for the summer issue of Everyday Party Magazine!  Summer parties give us many opportunities to use fun decor…sea shells or beaches, pool time & flip flops, nautical designs, drive in movies…the list goes on!  But another favorite of mine is a little tropical fruit we know and love…the pineapple!  Not only does it evoke thoughts of the tropics but the color of the fruit itself reminds me of sunshine, so it’s a perfect summertime theme!  It has been so busy around here that even though the publication came out some time ago, I haven’t yet shared the fun here…so today I’d like to give you some sunny inspiration for a simple gathering!

have a pineapple picnic!

Oh My Stars!

June 16
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So, I hate to mention this fact but it is now beyond the halfway point in June!  What?  It seems like school just got out yesterday and now it’s already time to gear up for all those Fourth of July festivities!  I hear that some people believe when the 4th arrives the summer is half over…and some believe that the holiday is the official celebration to the beginning of the summer season…I think I’d like to go with the latter!  It is true, as vacation standards go, the summer CAN be half over when you consider early start-dates or school activities that begin well before the first day of classes.  But I’m not going to concentrate on that fact…I’m here to share some inspiration for summer fun and celebrations that have really JUST begun!  So today I’m seeing stars…a fun theme for a patriotic or ANY type of party!

star-spangled snacks!

Graduation, Moroccan Style!

June 12

It’s been a fun conclusion to a long couple of weeks filled with all the normal end-of-school activities combined with graduation ceremonies, university orientation, and grad parties…including our own!  My son requested a smaller gathering for his graduation celebration, more like a large dinner party.  And the food request?  A traditional Moroccan meal…lucky my hubby just happened to live in Morocco as a child!  And though he didn’t know how to cook back then, he’s a wonderful at-home chef now and specializes in Moroccan delicacies!  We were lucky to have received a Moroccan cookbook as a wedding gift from my in-laws and what makes it extra special was what was written inside.  Within the pages of this book were the personal recipes of the cook who worked for my husband’s family  while they lived in Morocco.  My Father-in-law worked for the State Department and enjoyed the benefits of a staff while stationed in certain countries…they weren’t royalty or crazy rich, in case you’re wondering!  But we ultimately reaped those benefits too when we received all those wonderful and completely authentic recipes!  I do feel fortunate that my family has enjoyed these delicious and unique meals as the boys have grown throughout the years…and on special occasions they think nothing of eating without utensils, digging into a community pot, while seated on the floor!  So this very experience was my son’s request…to treat a small group of friends to a taste of something we hoped would be special!  Let me share with you our wonderful celebration for our son and some of his friends…

a sample of Morocco…

Monday’s Favorites

June 5
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It has been a really busy last couple of weeks around here!  School ending, baseball frenzy, parties galore…and my oldest graduating from High School!  I’m actually surprised that I was able to keep my head above water!  So needless to say today I’m keeping it short and sweet so that I can get caught up and wrap up some some things before we FINALLY get to enjoy summer vacation!  And speaking of summer, I’m sharing some favorite things today that are perfect for all your warm-weather gatherings!  With so much happening lately I realized I hadn’t done a “favorite things” in quite some time…and I will remedy that today!  So have a peek at some summertime goodies that I think will be your favorites too!

get ready for summer fun!