Go Broncos!

Truth be told, I don’t really care that much about pro football or who wins the Super Bowl. I like to pretend that Tom Brady is my boyfriend a) because he is cute and b) because we have the same birthday. I also like to recall the spring breaks in high school that I spent in the vicinity of Peyton Manning, who I vaguely knew.

Oh and I love to watch the NFL bad lip reading bits on youtube. They are endlessly entertaining.

My fascination with the sport stops there, but what I love about the Super Bowl is the part about sitting around eating junk food. I don’t need it to be all football shaped and cutesy. Just gimme something greasy and cheesy with a cold beer and I will stare contentedly at the endless collisions and thank god I am on a couch and not in the freezing stadium watching it in person.

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I love the table covering and those cute snacks in paper bags. {photo: punchbowl.com}

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When was the last time you ate potato skins?! These look amazing. {credit: whatsgabycooking.com}

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Upscale pigs in a blanket- yes, please! {credit: dreamsiclesisters.com}

Times a Flyin’

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Whelp, I took the kids to North Carolina for a month in the summer and somehow a month hiatus turned into an endless house renovation and uh… 6 months of no blogging.

I’ve successfully missed some great party opportunities like Halloween and Christmas- my favorites. New Years 2014 has come and gone in all of its glittery brilliance. But I haven’t missed the Chinese New Year, so I say bring it on Year of the Horse!

“At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children “lucky money” in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.”

This tablescape is certain to drive away any bad luck. {image: sistaco.com.au}

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I’ve been looking for a good reason to make these festive fortune cookies. {image: cakeappreciationsociety.com}

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Decorations

good luck coin party acces $6:25 amazon luckybugpaperco.etsy.com webstaurantstore.com$15:100 Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 10.16.57 AM 50mini$9envelopes.com

{From top: Good Luck coins, amazon.com; Year of the Horse party favors, luckybugpaperco.etsy.com; Chinese take-out boxes, webstaurantstore.com; Sparklers, topsmalibu.com; Chinese red envelopes, envelopes.com}

Snow Cones

Did you have the Snoopy snow cone maker when you were a kid? I did. And I loved that thing, despite the fact that it probably caused my first case of carpal tunnel syndrome. Seriously, it is almost impossible to crank that gear and turn ice cubes into anything more than a spoonful of ice crumbs. But it is still kinda awesome in a way that cannot be explained.

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{www.hearthsong.com}

These days there are equally adorable (non-hand crankingly operated) versions. This one from Crate and Barrel actually will shave enough ice to go into one of their cute, striped snow cone cups.

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{both images above from Crate & Barrel}

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Williams-Sonoma also has some great snow cone accessories like these striped cups and syrups, which are sure to be more appetizing than the bitter concoctions that came with the Snoopy set.

Lastly, if you are in New Orleans this summer and you need a break from the heat- and you will- this is the to-go spot for snow cones!!!

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{Hansen’s Sno-Bliz}

I Scream… You Scream…

Summer is heating up and what better way to chill out than a bowl of ice cream?!

If you own an ice cream maker, then try these delicious and refreshing recipes:

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{http://www.sweetpaulmag.com/food/my-happy-dish-mint-chip-ice-cream-from-kasey-fleisher-hickey-of-turntable-kitchen}

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{http://www.grandbaby-cakes.com/2013/06/key-lime-pie-ice-cream-with-mango-swirl.html}

My favorite local spots for homemade ice cream are:

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{http://www.sweetrosecreamery.com}

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{http://www.ilovenicecream.com}

And when the homemade just isn’t an option, two of my favorite grocery store brands are:

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{http://www.mcconnells.com}

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{https://talentigelato.com}

4th of July

Our family usually travels to Fire Island to celebrate the 4th of July, but due to the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy we will be staying in LA this year. I’m a little sad about it because there are great traditions in Fire Island like the annual kid parade, followed by hot dogs on the ball field, and when it finally gets dark we all strain to see the fireworks across the bay. Mostly I just love seeing the cousins running around in a little pack from dawn ’til dark.

In an effort to bring a little of the festive nature to our home this summer, I’ve pulled some of my favorite 4th of July images.

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I LOVE sparklers and how cute are these matchboxes?! {www.babble.com}

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I also LOVE s’mores. I’m sure the colored marshmallows aren’t really that much worse for you than the plain ones! {www.momdot.com}

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These look yummy- and healthy too! {www.thewinthropchronicles.com}

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I am only going to drink through star straws on the 4th! {www.shopsweetlulu.com}

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Cute decoration {www.marthastewart.com}

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My most favorite thing of all- FIREWORKS! Maybe this year I can see them up close and not as tiny specks across a large body of water. Keeping my thoughts positive! {www.500px.com}

Pancakes=Dads

Father’s Day is right around the corner and nothing screams “Dad” on a Sunday morning like freshly made pancakes. There is a debate raging in our household about who makes the best pancakes- the kid’s father or their grandfather.

Here are some pretty tasty recipes to secure the coveted “Best Pancake Maker Award” in your household.

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{Cornmeal Buttermilk Pancakes via http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandforums/blogs/projectrecipe/2008/10/14/dish-28-bridgets-pancakes.html}

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{Zucchini Bread Pancakes via http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2012/07/zucchini-bread-pancakes/}

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{Buckwheat Banana Pancakes for vegans via http://www.goop.com/journal/make/5/pancakes}

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{Spiced Apple Pancakes via http://sweetannas.com/?s=pancakes}

Boozy Popsicles

This is the time of year when June gloom rolls in here in Venice and the only reminders that it’s summer are a) my kids are out of school b) all my southern friends tout pictures of beautiful beach days on the Gulf Coast and c) my pinterest account is flooded with yummy summer treats.

I am currently obsessing on all of the pictures of alcohol infused popsicles. I’ve never tried one, but I think this is the summer to do it!

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{Recipes and images: Creamy Margarita http://www.gardeenworld.blogspot.com; Honeydew Cucumber Margarita http://www.live.gourmet.com; Peach Bellini http://www.bespangledjewelry.blogspot.com}

If making popsicles seems too overwhelming, then you could always do this champagne pour-over. It looks so pretty too!