Guys, I love the 4th of July.

I’ll love it even more if I can ever decipher the local laws to see if we’re allowed sparklers. Because sparklers are MY FAVORITE THING EVER.

(Don’t tell me it’s too dry for fireworks here. All it does is rain.)

The 4th of July also means increased security on Fort Hood so I’ve said, “Really? You think I’m gonna bring bombs on post in a doorless Jeep?” three times in the last week.

I mean, I get it. We have to be careful. But a 30 year old (yeah, my birthday happened) mom with 3 dogs in her (doorless, windowless, topless) car shouldn’t set off the terrorist alarm every. single. time.

Yeah, I’m really hoping for some sparklers.

I think we’re going to have a very low key 4th, just us, at home. This past month has been insane – isn’t summer supposed to be stress free? So we’re probably just going to grill and try to catch the Fort Hood fireworks show from our backyard. (If there’s one – I am so out of the loop.)

I am really, really bad at themed food. I think you know this by now. But I can’t resist a red, white, and blue treat. These Mini Fruit Pizzas are just sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting, and fruit on top. But they’re so cute and really delicious!

Click for the full recipe

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I told you I had a drink for you! 

I am a big fan of a drink on Christmas. Because I can’t handle the chaos. The stuff everywhere, the screeching children, the dog eating all the chocolate Santas. It’s just a lot for my tiny brain to handle. 

So I like a Christmas drink. 

I especially like a Christmas drink that’s sparkly and sweet and could technically pass for breakfast since it’s got orange juice and fruit. That’s a healthy breakfast? Right?

I’ve gotten to where I really like super simple sangrias. I don’t love fussing with a simple syrup so this is literally just fruit, wine, and champagne with a splash of orange juice. I feel like between the fruit, the wine, and the orange juice, it’s plenty sweet but if you wanted a simple syrup, you could totally go for it. Or add Sprite, 7Up, whatever. 

This is probably the last post I’ll put up before Christmas so I hope you you have a wonderful holiday if you celebrate and if not, I hope you just enjoy time with your family. I’ll be posting a lot on Instagram, I’m sure, so make sure you’re following me there to keep up with the shenanigans as we roadtrip across the country! 

Click for the full recipe

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Welp guys, sorry I haven’t been posting Christmas cookies and treats like I’m supposed to be doing.

I’m the worst.

I wish I could be one of those bloggers who had hundreds of posts lined up and ready to be published. Nope, I have exactly none. I pretend it’s because I like to live in the moment and blog about what my heart wants me to. But let’s be real, I’m just a horrible procrastinator. Like I said, I am the worst.

So yeah, my husband came home a couple weeks ago. On Thanksgiving, actually. It’s quite a different experience this time around. Last time he returned from Afghanistan  – because of how the war was going and probably because it was his first deployment – things were just bad. Just really, really bad. 

This time, it’s been really easy. It kind of just seems like he’s been gone for a week instead of 9 months. Whereas last time, it took us about 7 months to get to a good place. It’s crazy different and I’m very grateful for it. 

But I’m finally here with a Christmas treat! I’ve been meaning to make Saltine Toffee for years and years but I always run out of time and energy – finally managed to get it done this year! And I added peanut butter because why not? And peanut butter M&Ms because… duh.

It’s delicious. And I hate Saltines with a fiery passion. But the sugar mixture and then the peanut butter and then the chocolate… it’s just sweet and salty and I love it. 

I do have more Christmas-y recipes coming. Hopefully.I’ve had several cookie fails lately so we’ll see. I’ve got a drink coming for sure. Don’t even worry about that.

Click for the full recipe

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Okay guys, who’s been watching Once Upon a Time since the beginning?

I think I mentioned that I was obsessed with it and I watched all of season 1 within a day and a half or something ridiculous like that.

But now I’m stuck on season 2. Because Mulan’s there. And I had it in my brain that only classic fairy tale characters were allowed in Once Upon a Time and dangit, Mulan doesn’t belong there!

And Frankenstein. Frankenstein shouldn’t be there either!

What is happening.

Then I went to the IMDB page for the show, and I see what appears to be the Frozen girls? In really bad wigs? Stop, just stop.

Tell me, is it worth continuing? I’m just not into it like I was and it’s kind of depressing because I have the worst time finding new shows to watch.

Speaking of dressing up in bad wigs, Halloween is just over a week away and I cannot be more excited. Mostly because I gave up wine in an attempt to lose the 10 pounds of tacos and wine I’ve put on since July and I’m totally allowing myself some before/during/after trick-or-treating. Because kids. Kids everywhere. Kids ringing the doorbell. Eep.

If you’ve got a Halloween party coming up, I’ve got the perfect thing for you to make! Who doesn’t love a layer dip? Especially if it’s dressed up as a Jack-O-Lantern?!

Click for the full recipe

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How excited are you for 4th of July fireworks?!

The kids and I are headed down to Alabama for the 4th and I am so stoked! In Colorado, we’re always under a fire ban – we’re not even allowed to do sparklers! And then Fort Carson always schedules a big 4th of July fireworks show but it always gets postponed until September when fires are less of an issue. Colorado is a really weird place to live.

So every 4th of July, I buy the kids glow sticks and they run around the backyard like maniacs as soon as it gets dark.

But not this year! This year they’ll finally see fireworks!

I made some jello to celebrate! I know, jello on a food blog. I’m sorry.

But look! It’s red, white, and blue AND cut into cute little stars. If you’ve got a 4th picnic to go to, you should definitely consider making these. They’re so festive and really simple to make!

Red, White, and Blue Jello Stars

adapted from Our Best Bites

Ingredients

2 3-ounce packages red jello
2 3-ounce packages blue jello
2 packets unflavored gelatin
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

  1. Spray 4 small square containers nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Bring 5+ cups of water to a boil. Combine 1 c. boiling water with 1 package of Jello, stirring until dissolved. Place the dissolved Jello in one of the prepared containers. Repeat with the remaining packages of Jello. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferable overnight.
  3. When the Jello has set, bring another 1 1/2 cup of water to a boil. While the water is heating, sprinkle 2 packets of unflavored gelatin over 1/2 c. of cold water. Allow to stand for about 4 minutes. When the water has come to a boil, pour 1 1/2 cup boiling water over the dissolved gelatin and stir to combine. Add the sweetened condensed milk and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Carefully cut the colored Jello into cubes and gently toss to combine in the 9×13-inch pan. Pour the cooled milk mixture over the colored Jello. Press down any jello cubes that are sticking too far out of the white mixture.
  5. Place the pan in the refrigerator and chill overnight. Use a star-shaped cookie cutter to carefully cut stars out of the jello. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/06/24/red-white-blue-jello-stars/

 

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