life in general {day full of fun}

The hot, hot weather had calmed a bit, the rain and the wind had passed, and then a perfect summer day.  We spent Sunday at a super-fun carnival-themed open house for our friends’ party entertainment business, Million Grins.  It was a street full of bounce houses complete with a photo-booth, face-painter, stilt-walker, and fabulous carnival food machines (enter: sno-cones, cotton candy, and popcorn).  Their company is nothing short of amazing…a one stop shop for party rentals and we got to see the the fun first hand!  (To boot, my friend Sarah of Sarah Zingler Photography was walking around with her camera shooting the event all day and I even got to help style the event…woot woot.)

The kids had already conquered their fear of the big bad bounce house.  Today, today, they conquered their fear of face-painting.  Here are some of my faves of the few pictures I shot quick while chasing them around…

ronan-climbingronan-slidemoira-face-paintface-paintjumpingface-paint-2

Don’t be deceived by the grumpy look on Ronan’s face.  He had fun.  He just didn’t have a nap.

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summer pitcher drinks round-up

I will be spending next weekend in the company of some of fabulous ladies…basking in the sun, reminiscing, having some cocktails, laughing, swimming, eating…on a quick little getaway to Ellicottville, NY.  That’s right.  A bunch of hens getting together to have an all girls weekend.

There will be drinks…lots of drinks.  I don’t know what food or beverage I will be contributing yet, but I was inspired to find some pitcher drinks to possibly enjoy.

pitcher-drinks

From top left:

Raspberry-Basil Mojitos via A Spicy Perspective
Rum Punch via LilyPad Cottage
Blueberry Sangria via Sandra Lee
Watermelon Margaritas via Domestic Superhero
Pineapple-Lime Cooler via Rachael Ray
Strawberry Basil Margaritas via The Backyard Bartender
Raspberry Stinger via Teroforma
Spiked Pink Lemonade via One Perfect Bite
Ginger Shandies via HuffPost Taste

I might have to bring more than one.  They all look so refreshing, yummy, and slightly naughty, that I am having a hard time deciding!

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photography challenge {summer}

This month’s photography challenge for the Northeast Bloggers Network was “summer”. When I first saw the topic I thought of a dozen “summer” things I could photograph…swimming, popsicles, campfires, grilling…the list goes on.

But my final choice came this week. I was picking up the kids from daycare at the end of the day and thought to myself, I am going to blink and summer will be over. It will be dark at 5 o’clock, and cold, and there will always be something else I have to do. Staying indoors is not what I have in mind…I really want to take advantage of the fact that it is 80 degrees at 4:00, the sun is shining, and it is summer. We are going to the playground.

And so we did. Moira and Ronan hopped from one piece of playground equipment to another, as they always do, not staying more than 1 minute at any one in particular. Or so it seemed. But, before we left, they both opted for one more push on the swing. And that is when I snapped this with my phone.

moria-and-ronan-swings

There you have it folks. This is summer.

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festive, patriotic treats {in no time}

Ok, so it is almost here–the big summer holiday.  The Fourth of July.  And maybe you were invited to a party/gathering.  Maybe you said you would bring a dish.  Maybe you want to show off your Martha-skills and bring something with some wow-factor..something, say, red, white, and/or blue?  Have no fear.  You can do it.  And it won’t take you all afternoon…

Here are some of my favorite super-fast, festive foods I have come across, shining with Independence Day spirit…

last-minute-treats

1.  I love how easy, portable, and not-so-messy these Brownie and Fruit Kebabs are.  I have seen the ‘cake’ version out there too.  No forks or plates needed! (via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)

2.  If you have a little extra time, really wow your host/guests with red, white, and blue 4th of July Strawberries.  They are in season and would make a gorgeous display.  (via The Sisters Cafe)

3.  Speaking of kebabs…how adorable are the watermelon and blueberry Fourth of July Wands?  I love the health-food factor!  The Circus Berry family will definitely have these on July 4th! (via Weelicious)

4. Need a cool party favor, or something the kids will LOVE?  Dynamite Twizzlers.  Perfect!  (via Hershey’s)

5.  Red and Blue sports drinks.  Easy-peasy. (via Circus Berry)

6.  This Patriotic Parfait is another great (mostly) health food option.  Layer it in individual glasses, a trifle bowl, shot glasses…any of those would be great.  I think I will be swapping yogurt for the whipped cream for a fab, festive breakfast!  (via Betty Crocker)

7.  Pretzel Sparklers.  These really speak to me.  Salty, sweet, and something the kids can do too.  A great use for my extra star sprinkles too!  (via A Pinch of Glitter)

Easy is good, right?  Grab one or any combo of these fast ideas for a very festive Fourth.

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