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.

Image

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

Image

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}

Image

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

Image

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

Image

Cute decoration {www.marthastewart.com}

Image

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}

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!

Image

{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!

School’s Out for Summer!

Well, not here in California- but almost.

I’m busy planning my son’s class end of year party with the other room parents. We have the good fortune of living close to the beach, so we figured what better place to let 52 graduating second graders run around and celebrate for a few hours?!

This is the inspiration board that I put together:Image

1. We’re getting the adult and kid sandwiches & salads from Clementine in West LA {http://clementineonline.com}

2. I’m hitting up friends to make the lemonade and summer themed desserts

3. I’ll be making the DIY decorations {a big thank you to… http://columbia.wedding101.net/blog/2013/01/18/friday-diy-dip-dyed-coffee-filter-garlands/}

4. The icees will be from the delicious Di Dio’s Italian Ice in Santa Monica

The guest list is blowing up, so I hope that it’s a fun day for everyone!

{photo credits: pinterest, martha stewart, cannelle et vanille}

I Love Candy!

Specifically, cotton candy. I know it’s childish, but it’s making a serious reappearance in a myriad of grown-up settings. Apparently I’m not the only one who still loves to nibble on a fluffy, sugary puff ball.

ImageImage

I have to limit my cotton candy exposure to sporting events for fear of tooth rot and diabetic comas, but I take pleasure in knowing that I could own this darling machine if I wanted to make it a daily habit.

Image

{www.webrestaurantstore.com $404}

Or if you wanted to add a little something special to your next party, most good party rental companies have cotton candy machines to rent for around $75.

Here is a link to a DIY cotton candy without any special equipment http://www.thedailymeal.com/cotton-candy-0

Image

I really may need to decapitate a whisk and give that a try!

{Photo credit: pinterest, thebridesofoklahoma.com}

Set the Table

It’s time for a little table setting 101.Here is an adorable illustration that will help with the basics. Image

Of course, most of my entertaining is pretty casual so this is helpful, but don’t be afraid to get creative and have fun with the table. Your guests will feel taken care of even before eating a bite of food when they sit down to a beautifully designed table.

Here are some lovely tables and details. ImageImageImageImageImage

{Credits: Illustration via Sugarandcharmblog.com; additional images via Pinterest}

Tres Things Me Gusta About Cinco De Mayo

Uno. A Tasty Margarita

Image

My sister-in-law makes the best margarita.

This is her recipe:

1 – 2 parts (depending on how strong you want them) silver, 100% agave, tequila
1 part Cointreau
1 part fresh lime juice
  • You can pour the mixture over ice for on the rocks, chill it in a shaker with ice for straight up, or blend with ice for frozen.
Dos. Guacamole!
Image
My sister-in-law also makes the best guacamole.
This is her recipe:
In a large bowl combine…
10 ripe avocados – halved, scooped, including pits (this helps keep it from browning).
4 plum tomatoes – chopped
1 sm – medium onion – chopped or diced, yellow, red, or white (depending on your preference).
1/2 cup diced jalapeno (fresh or pickled)
1 bunch cilantro – chopped
Fresh lime juice – about a 1/4 cup, to taste, but add in small amounts since the flavor can easily overpower the others (this also helps to keep it from browning).
1/8 cup olive oil (helps to keep it from browning as well).
Sea salt and pepper to taste
 
Mash everything together and serve it either chilled, or room temperature with your favorite corn chips, or veggies, for dipping.
Tres. A piñata
I mean, is there really anything more entertaining than blindfolded, intoxicated people waving a stick maniacally at a paper donkey?! I rest my case.
Image
Thank you for sharing your recipes, Elizabeth!!!!
{Photo credits: margarita by http://www.thesweetestoccasion.com; guacamole by http://www.foodgawker.com; piñata by http://www.youaremyfave.com}