mix it up {knock-your-socks-off sangria}

When I asked the Circus Berry readers to share what they would put in the pitcher I was giving away this week as part of the Summer Nights Porch Soiree Giveaway, I got lots of calls for Sangria.

I was inspired by the suggestion, so I made some last night for my husband and myself.  And I will confess…we drank the whole pitcher.  Whoops.


Now, this is what I call Knock-Your-Socks-Off Sangria.

In a pitcher, mix:

1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 peach, cubed
1/2 pear, cubed
1 bottle of dry white wine
1/3 cup peach brandy
1/4 cup triple sec
1/2 cup orange juice
3/4 cup pineapple juice

Here is the fun part that will knock off your socks:
After you dole out the sangria, top each glass with a splash of ginger beer. It gives it a little zing and is super good.

Or you can go the road of my dear friend Leanne and top off your sangria with little bit of light beer. We used Modelo and it was also good. Just watch out…it’ll sneak up on you the next day…





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grilled veggie & bulgar salad

After many margaritas, chocolate covered bacon, margarita cupcakes, etc., etc., etc., Mr. Circus Berry and I decided it was time for a repeat of the Bon Appetite Food Lover’s Cleanse we did back in January (ok, I decided this, but he jumped on board with very little twisting of the arm).  Since a lot is based on seasonal foods, I been tweaking it a little to stay with mostly spring foods.  Over the next couple of weeks we will have a combination of meals from the 2011 Food Lover’s Cleanse, my E-Meals Clean Eating plan, and some other recipes.

Like this one:


Once the sun comes out I just can’t resist grilled food.

Here it goes:

1/2 red pepper, large diced
1/2 green pepper, large diced
1 zucchini, cut in quarters lengthwise and sliced
1 yellow squash, cut in quarters lengthwise and sliced
1/2 red onion, large diced
1 large shallot, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
drizzle of Wegmans Basting Oil
Kosher salt

chopped fresh cilantro
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon

1 cup cracked wheat bulgar
vegetable stock

Mixed Greens
Chopped cucumber

Toss the vegetables with the Basting Oil and sprinkle of salt. Grill. Meanwhile, cook bulgar according to package directions, substituting vegetable stock for water.

When veggies are done, toss in chopped cilantro, zest, and juice of one lemon. Plate a handful of mixed greens, top with 1/2 cup cooked bulgar, top that with grilled veggies, and top that with chopped cucumbers.


Feel clean and healthy while you indulge in this fresh, vegan/vegetarian meal!


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inspiring celebrations {butterfly picnic}

I was recently inspired by sunny, spring days ahead and the total girly-ness of my daughter (read: obsession with pink and purple and all things princess, butterflies, flowers, ponies, rainbows, cupcakes, and ballerinas).  So taking advantage of pleasant weather, I coordinated a festive and girly play-date picnic for my daughter and one of her friends (along with the adults who like to indulge in sweets in the outdoors) this past weekend…complete with girly colors and lots of butterflies.




Much of the party style came from items found at the Dollar Tree.  I made the food labels and the welcome sign with lots of girly-ness in mind.  With those and a little DIY, a decked out butterfly-picnic party turned out to be very doable on a smaller budget (who doesn’t love that!?!?).


The gorgeous cake pops were provided by Sarah at CakePopLove.  I pretty much just told her pink, purple, and butterflies and she came up with these lovelies!  They were perfect and yummy and the girls loved them.  As a matter of fact, so did the adults.  There was a lot of, “Wow, those are really good!”  Way to go Sarah!


The cupcakes were provided by my friend Krista of Rufflecakes.  She is my go-to cupcake gal, always shining with her perfectly matched fondant toppers.  The ombre purple butterflies were no exception.  They turned out so pretty!  (I kinda didn’t want to eat ’em…but I did.)

cupcake-2 cupcakecupcake3

In addition to the delicious cake treats, we had Pink Punch, PB & J Bites, Mini Parfaits, and Berries.




Like the much of the rest of the party, the goodie bags (and the butterfly wings) were all butterfly themed items from the Dollar Tree.




Once the girl’s showed up and got their butterfly wings and their butterfly wands there was no stopping them.  They flitted around like butterflies–giggling, chasing, and playing for hours.

collageAbby girls

It was little breezy, but a fabulous time for the girls.  And they got to get out into the grass and run around…and around, and around, and around.  Miss Moira loved being with her friend and has been talking about the Butterfly Picnic non-stop ever since!


Inspiring You to Celebrate…


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mix it up {chambord margarita}

Cinco de Mayo is coming.  Shake up something yummy for your fiesta (or your intimate mexican dinner, or your quiet happy hour at home, or your Sunday Funday).


Prepare your glass by rubbing the rim with lime and coating with kosher salt (if you dig the salt…otherwise skip that part)

Fill a shaker with ice.  Add:

1 1/2 ounces good tequila
1 ounce Chambord
1/2 ounce Triple Sec (or Cointreau)
1 ounce lime juice

Shake well and pour into prepared glass.





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pretty pinwheels {diy}

Still willing the Spring weather to get here.  Inspired by sunny days, warm breezes, and frolics in green grass, I made some pretty pinwheels using more supplies sent to me from Party On!


You only need three things:


One-colorful brads

Two-colorful paper straws

Three-colorful, two-sided scrapbook paper cut at 5 or 4 inches (I did a little of both)


1.  Draw lines from corner to corner on your scrapbook paper and cut on those lines, stopping about 1/2″ from the middle.


2.  Poke holes through the paper , one on the left corner of each section, and in the middle where your lines intersect.


3.  Push a brad through one corner, going outside to inside.


4.  Turn another corner in and  push the brad through the hole (outside to inside).


5.  Repeat with the third corner.


6.  Repeat with the last corner.


7.  Push the brad through the center hole.


8.  Pinch the end of your straw and poke a hole through.


9.  Push the brad from the pinwheel through both holes of the straw and open your brad.


Admire your handiwork!


I am thinking fun cake topper.  How else would you decorate with pinwheels?


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