Festive Fourth of July Recipes

The Fourth of July is the perfect reason to bring together friends and family for a good old-fashioned backyard barbecue.  Celebrating our independence is a pretty good reason to gather 'round the picnic table, too!  Today I'm going to give you eleven recipes {or how-to's} that are as delicious as they are beautiful.Let's start with a few beautiful appetizers./1/ Patriotic Dip - Turn your ordinary dip dish into a festive masterpiece with just a few simple steps./2/ Summer Fruit Wands - While your guests wait on their juicy cheeseburger to come off of the grill serve them these super fun Fruit Wands!/3/ Cheesy Star Chips - These are easy and cute! Add a dish of salsa for dipping to complete this appetizer. Moving on to the main course, shall we?/4/ Aloha Burgers - … [Read more...]

4th of July Tissue Paper Craft for Kids

When I think of Summer, I think of all things red, white, and blue. With the 4th of July coming up I thought it would be great to make some decorations for the house that are perfect for the patriotic Summer holiday! Today, I bring you a fun and easy craft that can keep kids of all ages entertained for quite some time. Surprisingly, it held the attention of my 5 and 7 year old kids, as well as my 12 year old son. With only a few supplies you will have a piece of art that can hang anywhere in your home that needs a touch of patriotism.First, gather your supplies. You'll need:white school glue red, white, and blue tissue paper {cut in to 3x3 inch squares} scissors white cardboard a ruler a pencilNext, make your template. You could eyeball it as you go along, but since … [Read more...]

Easy Fourth of July Crafts for the Entire Family

In most areas around the country school is out for summer. For me, when school is out I need lots of activities to keep the idle hands of my little ones busy. What better way to do that than to decorate your home with red, white and blue!? After all, the Fourth of July is right around the corner!Today you'll find a craft for all ages. And ALL in preparation for our nation's Independence Day!/1/ Pop Rocks Marshmallow Pops - Pop Rocks were such a fun candy when I was a kid! Who am I kidding? I still love them! Combining Pop Rocks and marshmallows just seems genius. See for yourself!/2/ Hidden Flag Cake - Don't be intimidated by it's complicated appearance. This Flag Cake is really simple. What's more? Ice this cake with plain white icing, light some sparklers on top {like … [Read more...]

Father’s Day Printables and Quotes

For Father's Day this year, we thought it would be fun to offer you a couple of special things, printables and quotes. You see, holidays don't have to be about expensive, store bought gifts or even fancy, elaborate meals. They can be simple and fun. They can involve the kids. They can be handmade.Use the printable questionnaire below to ask the kids questions about their dad. The younger the child, the sillier the answer. Like this, "My dad weighs 82 pounds." Dad hasn't weighed 82 pounds since grade school! Come back each year to print one out and see how the answers change with age and a smidge more {childlike} wisdom. {Image credit, Becca Paro of Jumping Jax Designs}  Does Dad do all of the grilling? You could frame this one and set it out for him or hang it next to his … [Read more...]

The SMART Back to Basics Summer Project. Bring it ON!

I’ve spoken to hundreds of moms and everyone seems to have the same complaint. How do we get our kids off electronics and back to basics? How do we teach them to connect with people on a deeper level? How do we teach them to search for a solution using their minds and not just with a push of a button?Sometimes I just want to shout, “Stop looking down and take the time to look up, connect and enjoy the moment.” I am determined to teach them the amazing benefits of life unplugged!And voila, that inspired me to set up my summer of getting back to basics plan begins! It’s time to look up, connect and experience real feelings, real emotions, real people, real nature – everything REAL and NOTHING electronic.I’m calling it 'My SMART Back to Basics Summer Project'. The goal is to … [Read more...]

10 Amazing Things You Can Do With Lemons

When life hands you lemons...get creative!Lemons aren't just for lemonade. You can cook, bake, decorate, and even craft with lemons. Of course, lemonade is still a thirst-quenching option. Today you will get a sampling of each of these ideas. There's something here for everyone to try!/1/ Chai-Spiced Triple Citrus Tea is sure to quench your thirst on a hot summers day./2/ Hosting a summer barbecue? A slice of Meyer Lemon Cheesecake will be the perfect finish to dinner on the back patio./3/ You just may have the ingredients needed to create this invigorating Lemon Rosemary Bath Salt scrub in your kitchen pantry./4/ Did somebody say pound cake? {Nom.} This Meyer Lemon Pound Cake is both beautiful and tasty./5/ Too hot in your neck of the woods to turn on the … [Read more...]