4th of July {in three ingredients}

I hope you had an amazing 4th of July! We had fun with our family and friends, which of course included a cookout. I love to cook and to bake, but sometimes, I just want to make something really simple – especially when I’m bringing it to someone else’s home. So today I’m sharing a few simple ideas for some three-ingredient, patriotic cookout contributions.

Fruit Salad

This is an obvious summer favorite, but you can keep it super simple with watermelon, blueberries, and bananas if you’re stick with a red, “white,” and blue theme. Add in strawberries, apples, pears, and anything else you love! And cutting watermelon into stars is fun for the kids, and for the adults.

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Chocolate M&M Pretzels

Remember these beauties? I love these because every holiday has its own themed m&m’s, which makes it easy to create a treat that is holiday-appropriate. Substitute the m&ms with red, white, and blue ones to go patriotic. And if you like caramel, try using rolos instead of hershey kisses!

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Flag Kabobs

These are even more fun than star-shaped watermelon for the kiddos. Simply use kabob skewers with marshmallows, blueberries, and either strawberries, cherries, or raspberries (or all of them!) to create a fun little display. Let me know if you’re able to make yours with straighter lines than I did…

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What else? Do you have a favorite, easy, summer trick when it comes to all the cookouts and holidays? Please share!

Fourth of July Weekend Wrap Up {2015}

It was a great weekend in Nashville, except that it RAINED on the night of the 4th, so we didn’t get to watch fireworks from our secret spot like we had planned. MAJOR BUMMER.

But I spent the 3rd with these two little ladies (and also I had to catch a glimpse of my flag dress from Red Dress Boutique)…

IMG_7926And that night, me and the hubs gave a shout out to my hometown, with each of us wearing our Wisconsin shirts:

IMG_7958The hubs had to work during the day, so I headed to a family cookout (with his fam!), and had a great time catching up with everyone: IMG_7961Me and the lovely ladies had to get a photo – two cousins-in-law and a sister-in law:IMG_7965And I just have to show off the adorable back of the OTHER dress I bought from Red Dress Boutique:IMG_7971

And finally, my adorable nephew Jack, because he is the most photogenic kid I know:IMG_7972

It’s almost the 4th of July!!

This is PRETTY MUCH my favorite holiday. I mean, it’s obviously tied with Christmas, because nothing can beat Christmas, but THE FOURTH OF JULY. OH man…how I love it. Please take a few minutes to browse through my past 4ths, and you may understand why…

It’s always a little bittersweet when I can’t get back to my hometown for this classic American holiday, but this year, I’m heading to Nashville to be with my hubster and his family and our friends there, like these guys, who joined us in Wisconsin last year!

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This will probably be a relatively low key weekend, but I will be sure to take some photos to share with you next week. Safe travels wherever you may go!!

Watermelon Margaritas + Memorial Day

As I mentioned yesterday, I had a great weekend with my dad. And then on Monday, after he left, I spent the afternoon with some friends grilling out and enjoying the weather. I brought Ryman over as well, since one of my friends had his two Dauchshunds. Meeting each other was a little iffy, but once everyone settled in, I think they had a fun day playing! And Ryman has pretty much been out cold ever since…

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Also, as promised, I have a DELICIOUS margarita recipe for you. In fact, it is a WATERMELON MARAGARITA. HELLO. I know it’s not the prettiest picture, but that’s life, guys.

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Watermelon Margaritas

3 cups watermelon

2 cups tequila

1/2 cup lime juice

1/2 cup orange juice

3 tablespoons sugar

large pinch of salt

Blend it all up, and pour it over ice!! You could also blend it with ice, however watermelon has so much water in it, that even blending it with ice doesn’t make it very “slushy,” so I recommend just skipping the blended ice and serving it on the rocks. Garnish with a lime and/or watermelon wedge!

Easter!

We had a great weekend enjoying beautiful Tennessee weather and lots of good time with my husband’s family and a few of our friends. Here are a few pictures to sum it all up!

Happy 2014!

It’s a new year, y’all!

Before I talk about the new year – what it’s already brought and what’s yet to come – I feel like I need to wrap up 2013, and share a little love from our Christmas adventures.

First, we HAD to have our first, married Christmas tree. So the weekend after Thanksgiving, we went to a tree farm out in the country, and cut down our own! Well, let’s be honest. Jonathan cut it down.

But it was a great time, that we will always remember! Also, we named our tree Tenny, after Tennessee, of course. Here she is!

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I also realized I never shared my Christmas centerpiece and nativity with y’all! I kept it pretty simple, but loved it. Gold and red chargers, with gold and white napkins. A simple, wintry runner. Tall stands filled with gold and red ornaments. Red candles. And my favorite part is copied from my mother – a jewelry tree with “The Twelve Days of Christmas” ornament set hanging from it.DSC_0020 DSC_0027

My nativity was given to me piece by piece throughout my childhood from my mom. It is made by Fontanini, and this was the first year I finally got to take it out and set it up. I love it! It reminds me of home.

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For Christmas, we took 10 days to travel to Wisconsin, and then to Tennessee to be with our families. We had a great time, and it feels like it has taken us a solid week just to settle back in. We had a pretty low-key New Year’s here in Columbus, and I finally feel caught up on the little stuff.

So finally, here are a few favorites from our time in very snowy Wisconsin, then in Nashville for Christmas, and then Gatlinburg for a few nights in the mountains. I hope you had wonderful holidays with your families as well!

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