Using personal photographs as seasonal decoration is something I love to do. It adds special memories to holidays and gives more meaning to the decor you display throughout the year. I’ll use a couple of these shots to put in a frame or make a collage to help decorate the cabin for many July fourths down the road.
This weekend I dressed my 17 month old in all American gear, handed her a couple flags, and let her run around. Trying to get a baby to stand or sit still, look at the camera, and smile is just about impossible. So plan to take a bunch of photos in order to get some usable ones. My favorites are the ones of her running around or twirling the flags….. maybe not traditional good shots, but it captures the fun she was having.
Here is a super easy way to make homemade potato topping without all the fat:
- One 16 ounce container of light or fat free sour cream
- 1/4 cup of freshly chopped chives
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- Pepper and salt to taste
Mix it all together and enjoy! If you don’t want as much of the garlic/onion taste use 1/4 tsp of each.
My mother and aunt are pretty awesome ladies. They have taught me many things over my lifetime and a couple ideas they recently passed onto me have been working splendidly. I want to pass on the advice.
Preventing mold on your fruit
I love fresh berries, but I hate how fast mold grows on them. If I don’t eat strawberries, raspberries, etc in a day or two mold starts growing. What a waste!
Mom already taught me that using white vinegar is the best way to kill mold if it grows in food containers…and Lord knows I’m not good at cleaning out the fridge. This trick comes in handy. Why not use the same principle to prevent mold and keep fruit from going bad?
Fill a bowl with 1 part white vinegar to 10 parts water. Put your fruit in that for 10 minutes and then thoroughly rinse it. This will help kill any small mold spores and give you 1 to 2 weeks to eat those berries! ***If you are going to put fruit back in the container you bought it, pour the vinegar water over the container and rinse it before placing fruit back.
Keep mosquitoes away with a minty fresh smell
Why use expensive, harsh chemicals to spray your yard to ward off mosquitoes when you can buy a value size bottle of Listerine? That’s right….Listerine. I bought an economy size bottle of generic Listerine, poured it into a spray bottle, and squirted the tar our of my yard. The amount of mosquitoes flying around dropped quite a bit!
My aunt even sprays it on herself to keep the buggers away. That works too, but expect a little stickiness.
Along with many holidays throughout the year this one always sneaks up me. It makes me realize that 1/3 of summer is already over…yikes! However, it is a great time to celebrate America, get together with others, and really get down to what summer is all about!
I like making ‘Martini Stations’. You can premake a large amount of a certain martini and keep it in a pitcher at room temperature. Then guests can pour the amount they want into a cocktail shaker, add ice, and have a great drink without the hassle of making martinis one by one.
What’s a great way to show your patriotism? Make a flag shaped fruit ‘pizza’ of course.
What you need:
- 1 refrigerated package of sugar cookie dough
- 2/3 of a package of light cream cheese, room temperature
- 2/3 of a container of light Cool Whip, thawed
- Blueberries and strawberries, rinsed and dried
Evenly spread the cookie dough into a rectangle (it may not turn out exact, so just trim the baked cookie as necessary to create a rectangle). Let it cool. Mix the cream cheese and Cool Whip together and spread evenly over the cookie crust. Add your fruit and enjoy!
I love making colorful layered cakes (for a gray ombre example Click Here). Making multiple and different colored layers does add a little time to making a cake, but not much and it really adds a lot to the festivities! You will want to use a white cake mix and make it with egg whites, not whole eggs (this keeps the color more pure). Separate the cake in 2 equal parts, add red food color to half and add blue food color to the other half. I only have 2 round cake pans, so I have to bake the red layers first and then once they cool I can bake the blue layers. Use white (not vanilla…it’s actually yellowy) frosting and decorate it as you wish!
I love me some glitter! I buy the inexpensive box of 12 of unscented ‘poured glass votive candles’, add some glitter, and you have cheap decorations!
What’s screams summer and America more than a Bomb Pop treat? You can relive those icecream truck memories, but with an adult friendly twist. Below are two different ways to make this festive cocktail:
Option One: Lemonade, Mike’s Hard Cranberry, UV Vodka Blue (the left half of the below photo)
Option Two: Smirnoff Ice, Blue Curacao, Cranberry Juice (the right half of the below photo)
Fill your glass with ice. Pour your blue liquid in (down the side so the color doesn’t stick to the ice), carefully pour in your ‘white’ liquid, and then the red. The colors blend quickly, so drink up!
Enjoy your cocktails in some patriotic washable glittered glasses. To learn how to make some sparkly glassware Click Here .
This is not a fun, cute, see beautiful results of your sweaty hard work kind of project. This is a dirty, hard, back-breaking job. However, it is also a money saving project that with some physical labor really isn’t that hard to figure out…..heck, I did it (this is our cabin kitchen floor)! If you’re looking to tile a floor, below are the steps to teach you how to lay the proper subfloor.
***I will soon be posting ’how to tile’ & ’how to grout’ , so stay tuned. Also, please don’t mind the hideous wood paneling…that is getting worked on as well!
The proper subfloor is very important when laying tile. You can’t just lay tile over plywood or linoleum; the thin-set (tile adhesive/mortar) won’t adhere and the tiles can crack as the floor moves and swells from moisture variations. You can, however, lay tile over concrete or an existing tile floor (as long as it is secure and you have the height clearance). You also want to make sure the floor under this project is stable. Cement board and tile create a lot of weight.
What you’ll need:
- 1/4 inch cement board - I like using ‘Hardiebacker’ (use 1/2 inch if you need to build height)
- Mortar (thin-set, mud, etc)
- A 1/4 inch notch trowel
- Screws - 1 1/4 inch deck screws (they won’t rust)
- Cement board tape (same idea as sheet rock tape)
- Tools like a screwdriver, razor (for scoring the board), a large ’egg-beater’ drill attachment for ease of mixing mortar, a bucket
- Knee pads, rubber gloves, etc – anything to make the job more pleasant, so booze can fit in this category as well
Mix your mortar with water. You want it to be a peanut butter consistency and to hold the trowel marks as you spread it. Slop some on the floor and begin spreading it out, creating a ‘fan’ effect for even coverage. The notches in the trowel help regulate how much mortar is left on the floor….handy little tool!
As you lay the board screw them in *do not step on boards until they are screwed into place*. Install screws in a random pattern all over the board. Give about 8 inches of space between screws, 2 inches in from corners, and 1 1/2 inches in from the sides. Make the screw heads level with the board (don’t over screw).
After all the boards are laid you will need to mud and tape your seams. First, fill the spaces between boards with mud and smooth the line along the seam (you can use the flat side of your trowel for this). Second, lay a line of cement board tape along the seams. Third, smooth another thin layer of mud over the tape. Allow it to dry.
The project is done and now ready for tiling! oofda, I need a massage!