Tag Archives: party

Snapshot Saturday – Boom!

July is the month that we, in the United States, celebrate our country’s independence.  Generally speaking, we honor the bravery and determination of our forefathers by having a BBQ, drinking some beer (or beerlike substance) and blowing stuff up!  I love FIREWORKS!!!  The boom, the colors, the majestic pictures in the night sky!  So, this month I’m going share some of my favorite pictures of this year’s fireworks!

5th of July Party


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Filed under bucket board, check-it-off-the-list, family drama, mixed up crazy world, self improvement, snapshot saturday

Thirsty Thursday – Sparkling Strawberry Wine

Sorry this is late, but we went to a Pure Romance party hosted by one of our good friends last night and I was a bit distracted…  The theme of the party was pretty in pink, and we were asked to bring something fun and fresh along, so I decided to mix up some adult beverages.  I needed something that was universally appealing, like a punch, but I also wanted something that was a bit more sophisticated, like a sangria; however, I waited until the last minute, so I went with a Sparkling Strawberry Wine recipe I found on Pinterest.

I grabbed the ingredients:  a bottle of sweet white wine (Moscato works), a half a bottle of Sierra Mist (about 3 cans of any lemon-lime soda works), and a bag of frozen strawberries.

Strawberry Wine Spritzer Ingredients

The pin didn’t have any real instructions, so I winged it.  I dumped most of the bag of strawberries into a pitcher.

Frozen Strawberries

Then I added the soda (or pop, like everyone around here calls it…).

Add the soda

Finally I poured in the bottle of white wine.

Add the wine   Smelled light and fruity

Don’t forget to stir it, so the strawberries don’t become a giant ice cube.  I poured a glass to test it before serving, and it tasted remarkably like Arbor Mist.

Taste Test  Sparkling Strawberry Wine

I may try a different flavor next time, because the blackberry Arbor Mist was always our favorite…



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Thirsty Thursday – Blackberry Martini

Gwen loves vodka, but I’m just not a huge fan.  I’m not a quitter, so I keep trying to find a way to serve it that I’ll actually like, but I’m not having any luck.  This week I chose a flavor I absolutely love, blackberry, to try and make the vodka more pleasant.  I found the recipe on Pinterest, as usual…

The recipe called for some components that you had to prepare in advance – simple syrup and blackberry puree.  I keep simple syrup on hand, but the blackberry puree was easy to make.  It’s exactly what it sounds like… pureed fresh (or frozen) blackberries.  The directions saw to run it through a food processor and a metal sieve, but I used an immersion blender and cheese cloth.  Once I had the puree made, I gathered all of my ingredients: vodka, triple sec, lemon juice, super fine sugar, a lemon, the blackberry puree, simple sugar, and ice.

blackberry martini ingredients

The recipe is to make 4 drinks, but I was the only one drinking tonight, so I reduced to 1/4 of the original amount.  (Well, except the ice…)  I started out by prepping the glass.  I cut my lemon in quarters and sliced one wedge across the middle without cutting through the rind, so it would rest nicely on the edge of the glass.  Then I ran it around the side of the glass to give the superfine sugar something to stick to.

rim the glass with a lemon

Then I set up the sugar for the rim.  If you have a margarita rimmer you’re ahead of the game, if not you can use a plate and spoon.  I made a circle about the same size as my glass out of the sugar on a plate, then I put the juiced glass down in the sugar circle.  I didn’t make the pile of sugar deep enough, so I used a spoon to spread some more sugar higher onto the side of the glass.

sugar circle   sugar rimmed glass

I stuck the glass in the freezer to chill while I mixed the drink.  I filled the shaker with ice, before adding 1/4 ounce each of blackberry puree, simple syrup, lemon juice, and triple sec.  Then I added 2 ounces of vodka and shook for about 10 seconds.

shaker of ice   1/4 ounce blackberry puree   1/4 ounce simple syrup   1/4 ounce lemon juice   1/4 ounce triple sec  2 ounces vodka

Boy goes a shaker get chilly when it’s full of ice…  When everything was well mixed, I poured it into my frosted sugary glass and tasted it…

Blackberry Martini   Blackberry Martini

It looked great, I’d absolutely serve these at a party, but I just don’t like vodka…  Any suggestions on how to change my mind?

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Sunday Sweets – Glitter Cupcakes (Fail!)

I feel like this post is really cheating.  I mean who hasn’t made decorated cupcakes before?  I found this really cool pin on Pinterest for Edible Glitter Cupcakes and was intrigued (if you know Gwen at all, you’ll understand why…).

So when I went to explore the attached site for the pin, it was a total let down.  It lead me to a party planning site, with links to online shopping outlets to purchase the “edible glitter components.”  Too much of a pain to try and navigate, so I was off to the grocery store and craft store in search of a suitable option, because I had promised Glitter Cupcakes and when I make a promise I feel obligated to keep it, no matter what.  (If you know my family, you’ll understand why I’m like that, lol.)  Let me tell you, what they have in the stores is the same stuff they’ve had for years.  The closest you can come to edible glitter is colored sanding sugar.  What a let down.  I was looking for something that actually looks like glitter, but it isn’t actually out there.

Here’s what I ended up doing instead…  I made a boxed cake mix (this is where the cheating thing started), frosted the cupcakes with pre-made frosting (more cheating), and decorated them with colored sanding sugar (even more cheating).

glitter cupcake ingredients  boxed cake mix    mixing up the batter   time to bake   icing the cupcakes   faux glitter decorations  not quite sparkly enough  slightly disappointing

So can anyone help me out?  I need to find a better way to make glitter cupcakes!

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Thirsty Thursday – Whomping Willow

I’ve been reading the entire Harry Potter series again, but in the original British publication format, and I’m up to the final book!  I’m both happy and sad about this, but in honor of the event I decided to dedicate this month’s Thirsty Thursday post to Harry Potter inspired drinks.  I found this cool list of drink recipes all themed around Harry Potter on Pinterest and can’t wait to try out a few of them and share the results.

I picked the Whomping Willow to make first, because I had all of the ingredients on hand.  It called for: Vodka, Sour Apple Liqueur and lime juice.

Whomping Willow Ingredients

The only issue I found with the recipes, is that there are no ratios or amounts of each ingredient listed.  So I had to wing it.  I went with an 1/8 of an ounce of lime juice.

lime juice

Poured into a cocktail shaker loaded with ice.

icy cocktail shaker

Then an ounce of Green Apple gets added to the shaker.

Add a shot of pucker

Then add an ounce of your vodka of choice.

now a shot of vodka

Then shake it up well to chill and pour it into a pretty glass.

pour me a drink?  Whomping Willow

It was a nice mix of flavors, but just proced to me that I really am not a fan of vodka.  Hopefully the next one I try I’ll like a little better.  It was fun to sip on while I watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

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Filed under check-it-off-the-list, thirsty thursday