Monday, September 22, 2014

BOOZY SNOW CONE RECIPE


I mentioned how delicious our boozy snow cones turned out for a little blogger get together a few weeks ago here, and now I'm back to share the recipe with you!

Meg was so sweet to come over a few days before the event to help me make the syrups.  I found a few general recipes online, but figured we could kind of wing it.

The biggest lesson we learned is that a little simple syrup goes a long way.  Remember that this is a very concentrated syrup that you only need a very small portion of to make a big impact in your drink.

We made two different flavors: strawberry basil lime and lemon berry (we made an alcoholic and non-alcoholic version of this flavor).


Strawberry Basil Lime
--2 cups of water (for a big batch)
--1 cup of sugar (We used Truvia for a lower calorie option. Make sure to buy the baking blend version.)

This will make a large batch of simple syrup.  If you want to make a smaller batch, just adjust the amount of water and sugar, always keeping the ratio of 2 parts water to 1 part sugar the same.

--3 cups of cut up strawberries (there isn't really an exact science here, just add a healthy serving of strawberries)
--4-5 basil leaves
--1 lime

Step 1: Add your water and sugar to a saucepan and heat over medium heat until all the sugar dissolves. 

Step 2:  Once the sugar has dissolved in the water, take the saucepan off the heat and let cool for about 30 minutes. 

Step 3:  Pour the cooled sugar water into a bowl and add the strawberries and basil.  With a potato masher, mash the fruit and leaves.  You're trying to get the flavor into the sugar water mixture. 

Step 4:  Next, with a fine mesh strainer, strain the mixture into another bowl.  Then squeeze the juice of one lime into the syrup and stir. 

Step 5:  The final step is when you add the vodka if you want to make this snow cone syrup boozy.  Meg and I had a difficult time figuring out how much vodka to add.  We started off with 3 ounces, then moved to 6, and onto 9.  Right before the party, Meg added more, and they turned out great.  I guess this part depends on how boozy you want the snow cones to be.  I would suggest starting slowly and adding a little more alcohol at a time to get to the taste you prefer.

Drizzle some over some shaved ice and enjoy!

 
Lemon Berry

Everything is the same as the recipe above, except swap out 2 lemons and about 2 cups of blueberries instead of the strawberries, basil, and lime.

What I loved about these recipes is that they didn't require us to stick to a strict recipe.  It's just a lot of taste testing as you go and adding together flavors that sound good.  Thanks Meg for helping me make these delicious syrups!  It was a great excuse to hang out:)




Have you made simple syrups before?  Any flavor combinations I should try next?

Friday, September 19, 2014

CRAFT FAIR!



As the air turns crisp and the leaves become tinged with a bit of yellow, I'm reminded that it's craft fair time!

Weekends seem to fill up with little booths popping up around town, each filled with interesting wares and goods that the maker has lovingly designed.

I'll be at the Shawnee Town Craft Fair this Saturday (September 20th) from 9-4, which will mark my 4th year doing this event.  If you're in the Kansas City area, stop by and say hi!

The majority of my evenings and weekends seem to have been spent prepping for this event.  I've even enlisted the help of my mom who always comes through with helping me package and then is my favorite sidekick the day of the show.

This year I'll be introducing a headband bar!  Now people will be able to purchase either a packaged headband or create their own by selecting the color band they like and then different buds.  It's something I've been wanting to incorporate for a while now, so I'm excited it finally came together.



I'm in the home stretch now.  I get so nervous before these types of things.  That's why it's so nice to have my mom there to buy me ice cream if things aren't going well:)  Hopefully the weather will hold out, and it will be a beautiful day.  

Check out last year's craft shows here and here, and read about my thoughts on success here.

Do you have any craft fairs or street festivals you like to visit each year?


Monday, September 15, 2014

THE LADYBUG


The other day I went to the track to run.  The sun was just dipping below the tree line, and the air still held the heat from the day.

My knee still isn't 100%, so I did sprints back and forth on the cushioned track.

After my last sprint, I was bent over with my hands on my knees to catch my breath and noticed a little ladybug trekking across the track to get to the grass on the other side.

She had made it to the middle of the track and was moving steadily along, up and down the rough terrain.

What seemed like a smooth, cushioned surface for me to run on was actually filled with mountains and caverns, upon microscopic inspection.

I watched her for a few minutes and wondered if she knew how much farther she had to go.

For me, I could see the span of her journey from beginning to end and knew she was halfway there.  But she could have no idea.  Even the high points would not be able to give her the vantage point she needed to see how far she had come or where she was going.

She just kept moving.

I dropped my hand to her.  She blindly climbed onto my finger, not knowing if it would be her salvation or her demise.  I then walked the two steps to the grass and let her climb down onto a blade of grass.  She quickly disappeared.


I'd like to think I helped her in some way to complete her journey and that she understood the assistance.

Could she ever really know, though, how much danger she had been in walking across a busy track with feet pounding over her route?

Would she have even wanted to know?

It made me think how we're not all that different from this ladybug.  We aren't able to see the full picture, to truly see how far we've come and where we're going.  We just keep moving in the general direction of forward and hope that we make it to the other side.

The "right" answer constantly eludes us.  Should we keep plodding along on our way or venture onto a new path?  Either way, if we stay constant or take a new opportunity, we are still blind to what the outcome will be.

Years from now, though, we'll be able to look at our journey from beginning to end.  We'll see how all those decisions and long walks across rough terrains got us to where we are.  How each decision was not just "good" or "bad", but that it did transform us and our part in the world.

We'll actually be able to take our eyes off the road and look around us to appreciate the intricacies of everything we couldn't see before.

And best of all, we'll  finally understand the point of it all.  How our life, this journey fits into everything else.

We'll be like I was that day, seeing the big picture, the road the little ladybug was on, and knowing there was a beautiful sunset shining down on this little ladybug's path even though she never looked up to see where the light was coming from that illuminated her journey.    




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I'm linking up with Meg's Mingle Monday link up today.  Stop by to meet some new blog friends.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

PEICD (PROJECTS EVEN I CAN DO): PAPER LANTERN DIY



As promised from my post about the Boozy Snow Cone Bash, I'm back to show you how to make these adorable paper lanterns.  They can either add a fun pop of color during your daytime get together or light up your backyard with a beautiful glow. 


Plus, they're relatively easy to make.  If I can do it, then you can do it.  I promise. 

If you look really close, they're no where near perfect, but that doesn't matter.  They look cute from far away and weren't all that time consuming to make.  And the best part is that you can make them in whatever color you want that fits the motif of your party.

Paper Lantern DIY

Supplies:

--Tissue paper
--Gold spray paint
--Popsicle sticks
--Glue gun
--Crepe paper for decoration
--Piece of cardstock or scrapbook paper

Step 1: Spray paint a ton of popsicle sticks gold.  Better get to eating those bomb pops and fudgsicles:)  Actually, I bought a box of jumbo craft sticks at a craft store.  Each lantern takes 16 sticks to make, so I just lined up the sticks and painted away. It was kind of a pain since the sticks kept blowing over, but I just did one side to save on time.

Step 2: Once the sticks have dried, it's time to make the form of your lantern.  Fire up that hot glue gun and connect the edges of two sticks together to form a corner.

Do this another three times until you have 4 corner pieces.  Then hot glue a stick to the top and bottom of each corner to connect the corners into a square shape.



Step 3:  Cut four pieces of tissue paper to fit into the windows of the lantern.  Before you fully glue them into the lantern, tie a piece of string onto two sides so that you can hang your lantern if you like.   


Step 4:  Next, cut a piece of scrapbook paper or cardstock to fit the bottom of the lantern, and, you guessed it, hot glue it on.



Step 5:  You're almost done!  Now just add any decoration you want to the lanterns.  I added some fringe I cut from crepe paper. 



Now just hang them up wherever you like.  I put them up in the tree in my backyard for our Boozy Snow Cone Bash.  They were fun and colorful amidst the dwindling sunlight.


Then as the sun goes down, just add a battery operated flameless candle to each lantern and enjoy the glow.



I hope the weather stays warm enough to use these a few more times this year.  Maybe I can cut holes in the tissue paper to make it look like a carved pumpkin.  Hmmm...that's not a bad idea...

Stay tuned for a boozy snow cone syrup recipe and an easy flower crown DIY coming over the next week.




Monday, September 8, 2014

BOOZY SNOW CONE BASH = BEST NIGHT


To understand how this party came about, a little backstory is necessary.

This past Christmas, I asked for a $15 Slushy Magic Slush Cup.  I saw it on TV and believed the claim that it would turn any drink into a slushie. 

When I anxiously checked my stocking Christmas morning, it was no where to be found. 

There was a large package in the corner of the room, though.  I opened it and found an industrial sized snow cone machine (similar to this).  In Wade's mind, that dinky magic slush cup wouldn't work.  Instead, we needed something that would last for years and years and fill our home with unlimited snow cones. 

As you can imagine, we really hadn't used the snow cone machine too much.  Needing to prove this purchase wasn't a complete waste, I decided to throw a boozy snow cone party with some of my blogger friends.  Because who would truly appreciate a boozy snow cone more than them?


Throwing a party always seems like a great idea until you actually start putting it together.  Then it gets really overwhelming.  At least for me it does.  That's why I was so lucky to have the help of Meg and Elle.  They came over early to help set up everything and along with others, brought lots of delicious food and deserts.  Elle also made a delicious sangria that we had to try out before everyone else arrived.  Find the recipe on her blog


Meg and I made the snow cone syrup a few days before the party.  We thought that we needed so much syrup, but a little goes a long way.  I'll be sharing our recipes later this week.  It was my first time making simple syrup, and I think it was a success.  Meg handled the boozy part of the snow cones.  She made them so well that I may have forgotten to take any more pictures of the snow cones:) 


We also set up a flower crown making station that was a lot of fun and super easy to do (I'll be showing a tutorial soon on the blog).  The best part, though, was just having everyone together and getting to know each other more. 



 And then we took the party outside.

From left to right: Alexandra from Alex After Five; Meg from Life of Meg; Elle from The Clean Project; Me; Jessica from Refining Juhls; Jess from 26 and Not Counting; Alissa from The Adored Life

Thank you to everyone who helped make this party so magical and brought delicious things to share.  I feel so fortunate to have met these stellar ladies and look forward to many more get togethers in the future (so does Maisy:)


p.s. I'm linking up to Meg's Mingle Monday link party.  Stop by to meet some new blogger friends!





Sunday, August 31, 2014

MATCHING FLOWER CROWNS, AKA CRAZY BUNNY LADY


Yes, Maisy and I are wearing matching flower crowns.  I guess I've officially become the crazy bunny lady....but I don't care.

Things have been quiet around this little space of mine, but things in the outside world have been busy and fun.  I can't wait for a bit of a breather to fill you all in. 

Last week I had a little get together with my blogger friends, and it was magical.  Boozy snow cones, glowing lanterns, and flower crown making.  It was one of the best nights of my summer. 


I'll be back later in the week with a recap of the night and some DIYs, such as....

...how to make easy paper lanterns.


...recipes for boozy snow cones

...and how to make the easiest flower crowns ever

In a few minutes we're heading off to hang out with my family.  My sister and her adorable family are in town, and I can't wait to see them.  You can follow along on ensuing hijinks on Instagram.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!