Monday, June 26, 2017

Fourth of July Lunch

Last week I put together a quick little patriotic dinner for the kids on a night when Dave was working.  

I made "rocket dogs" as I have in the past and they were just as big of a hit as they've been in years past.  I didn't have skewers this time so I baked the crescent roll wrapped turkey dogs and then put the cheese on top with a toothpick.  They just didn't look right without a "tail" so I tied some twine onto another toothpick to make it look more like a rocket.

The USA sandwiches are peanut butter and jellies that I cut with these cookie cutters.

Strawberries, blueberries and yogurt covered pretzels from Trader Joe's. EASY!

I wanted a festive dessert that didn't involve more strawberries so I settled on my regular "white cupcakes" as my kids call them made a little bit more festive thanks to some red, white and blue nonpareils.

Excited to dig in!!!

And, of course... the cupcakes were the stars of the show!

I even introduced Griffin to the cupcake sandwich technique.  #milestonemoment

I know that they don't care about the decor, the pretty napkins or that I made a flag out of fruit and yogurt pretzels... but I think they'll always remember that I took great JOY in doing these special little lunches and days for them.  And I hope that y'all filed away an idea (or a couple!) for upcoming festive occasions.  

So... about the cupcakes.  I've made these for YEARS and they're my go-to for parties.  They're easy and taste AMAZING!!!  Plus, you can customize them with sprinkles, food coloring, toppers, etc. to fit your theme and you're good to go!

Here's What You'll Need for the Cupcakes
- 1 box vanilla cake mix
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 cup water

Here's What You'll Do
1) Mix the cake mix, melted butter, eggs and water together on slow speed for 1 minutes.  Beat for an additional couple of minutes on high until the batter is thick, but fluffy at the same time.  It won't be runny and such like a regular cake mix.  

2) Scoop the batter into lined cupcake tins (I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup)

3) Bake at 350 for 20 minutes

Here's What You'll Need for the Frosting
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Here's What You'll Do
1) Beat together the butter and shortening
2) Scrape down the sides and mix in the teaspoon of vanilla
3) Beat in the powdered sugar (I do 2 cups at a time)
4) Pour in the whipping cream and then beat it all together again until it's fluffy and amazing

So here's where it's about to get janky... I pipe my icing onto the cupcakes using a gallon ziplock bag.  #classy :)  I put the bag into a big measuring cup to make it easier to fill.  Then I cut off the corner of the bag and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.  The end.

I get TONS of compliments on these and I don't think you'd ever know that they come from a box mix (kind of).  

If you make these and try themI'd love to know what you think!  Happy Baking!!!

PS - This post contained a few affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting my blog!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Favorites - Slow Week Edition

Happy Friday, friends!

 ErikaNarci and I are all sharing our Friday Favorites and we'd love for you to join us!  Grab our graphic, link back to one (or all!) of us and link to your blog at the bottom of this post.  Easy!

Today's post is going to be short and sweet.  This has been a slow week at our house and the laid back pace has been my FAVORITE!  Not a whole lot on the agenda but fun and hanging out together!  #amen

 Evening swims and this floral suit are our FAVORITES!

(her suit is sold out - the original link is HERE in case you want to keep an eye on it to see if it comes back in stock.  The brand is GREAT quality and we love all their suits!)

Waiting at the car dealership is our FAVORITE when there are cookies and hot chocolate!

And when y'all tag me and let me know you're loving recipes I share.... well that's my FAVORITE! ;)

Luke and I have been having a week-long Mario-Kart tournament.  Racing it out after the other two go to bed has been one of my FAVORITE times this week.

Griffin andI did one of our FAVORITE things this week as well...

Pretty sure that's how my face looks when I lick cake batter....

Movie night popcorn is our FAVORITE!

A little "luxury" that I miss sometimes during the school year is just hanging out with lots of time on our hands.  Watching these three play and be silly while NOT folding laundry, wiping shelves and/or grading papers is probably my FAVORITE part of summer.  

While I shared some pretty pictures of our yard yesterday, my FAVORITE way for the patio to look is like this...

... lunch, books, towels thrown everywhere and kids in the pool.

We are LOVING the spray sunscreen from Trader Joe's this summer.  We haven't had a single sunburn at our house and I'm giving the spray the credit (and the fact that I haul them out of the water about every hour to dry off and reapply).

PS - Mason's suit is from Boden and you can find it HERE.  He HATED his regular swimsuits because they were "too heavy" and so we tried this out and he's IN LOVE!!!  It doesn't hurt that it's absolutely precious!

Red, white and blue attire is my FAVORITE in the summer and I probably have too much fun picking out festive outfits for everyone for Fourth of July.

I got the boys this peace shirt and rockets' red glare shirt (and I can't get the picture to rotate - boo!) and they are so soft and festive!

I ordered this dress for myself because SIXTEEN DOLLARS and I think it will be really cute with flip flops and will be comfy enough to take me from the parade, to the pool to fireworks.

Those little freckles are my FAVORITE!!!

Earlier this week we celebrated one of my FAVORITE girls bringing home her baby girl and I was tickled to wrap up a cute gift (pool float HERE)...

GG and I had to run by one of our FAVORITE places this week and she was loving being in charge of the cart...

... and another FAVORITE view from the week.  Yes ma'am.

Hope y'all have a GREAT weekend!!! 

PS - This post contained affiliate links... thank you for supporting my blog!