Weekend Bits – Links I Love

coffeeimage: jacolynmurphy.com

Kids are howling in protest and mothers are doing the dance of joy as the school year officially starts this week in my area.  Although it does kind of feel like the school calendar is cutting more and more into summertime, I guess we’ll sacrifice in the name of sanity education.  And so I lead off this week’s favorite links with this cute back to school coffee party idea that makes for an easy get together just for moms.

Everyone needs a crisp white shirt (or two or three) in their closet and here are 10 stylish ways to wear one.

I’m guilty of eating boring breakfasts made up of nothing more than a protein bar and coffee but I may change my tired ways after checking out these scrumptious looking morning meal ideas.

The NFL kicked off the preseason this week and I’m ready for some football! To celebrate I’m sharing this recipe I found for beer nachos (you’re welcome husbands).

This chalkboard paint idea for a bathroom is my favorite pin of the week.  It would be fun for a lower level bath and everyone would love adding their own graffiti!

Got a birthday coming up?  Be sure to check out this list of 19 retailers that give you a special treat on your big day.

Have a great weekend!

Advertisements

Weekend Bits – Links I Love

watermelon-t1“I carried a watermelon.” . . . quick name that 80s movie!

Only one of my all time favs, Dirty Dancing!  Sort of a random way to start this post but I’ve had watermelon on the brain this week and I love that line from the movie.  The grocery stores are filled with bins of juicy, ripe, delicious watermelon.  It’s a fruit that everyone in my family will eat so we’ll load up on it over the next month.  To mix it up some, I found this collection of 12 recipes that include watermelon.

IKEA is opening a store in Kansas City this fall and I can’t wait!  I find lots of cool decor ideas on the web that start with an IKEA item and with a little ingenuity, they’re transformed into showstopping pieces.  These are referred to as ‘IKEA hacks’.  Check out these amazing hacks to get the gist.

Staying on the topic of decorating, here are 6 decorating rules made to be broken with tips on how to pull it off.

This link is a must read for, frankly, everyone who has a social media account.  If you only take away one snippet, let it be this: “Instagram is often a shiny happy world where people post only the moments (and outfits, meals, parties, and destinations) they want people to see (edited and filtered to perfection.)”.  Let me add that it doesn’t just apply to Instagram (*ahem* Facebook).

ICYMI (in case you missed it – took me forever to figure out that acronym on Twitter!), the Nordstrom anniversary sale started on Friday.  It runs through August 3rd.  This is my favorite round-up of pieces under $100 to consider adding to your wardrobe.  Happy shopping!

 

Weekend Bits – Links I Love

cap wat

Has anyone else noticed that the moment the 4th of July holiday has passed, you start hearing murmurs about summer being almost over?  I’m opting for the glass is half full perspective and plan to enjoy the weeks and weeks of warm weather still ahead of us.  There are so many possibilities for summer entertaining that I haven’t taken advantage of yet.  One of my favorite ideas is hosting a backyard movie night.  And all the visual inspiration I need is right here.

I’ve got a thing for a wall filled with photos and prints displayed in different ways.  My tendency has always been to go with the classic look of black frames with an ivory mat, but I’m loving this twist of using colored mats with black and white prints.  A perfect way to add color to a media room!

My collection of costume jewelry has definitely outgrown the jewelry box that sits on my dresser.  I’m not really a jewelry armoire type of girl so I’ve been looking for fun and different ways to organize my baubles.  I hit the jackpot of roundups with these 75 creative ways to organize your jewelry.  Definitely some pin worthy ideas to try.

It’s the start of tomato season in the Midwest and there are so many delicious ways to use them.  This recipe for caprese salad makes a simple and colorful appetizer.

I’m a fan of finding unique home accessories at vintage shops and flea markets so I enjoyed reading this blog post about using accessories to tell your story.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

Weekend Bits – Links I Love

sunsetI hope everyone is having a fun and festive holiday weekend.  Today I’m struggling to get back into a routine after spending a week with my family doing nothing more than lying on the beach and deciding where to have dinner each night.  To ease the transition back to the real world, I’m going to download my vacation photos and relive some of my favorite parts.  While I have hope that I’ll create a photo book, I may also try one of these non-scrapbook ways to capture our vacation (except maybe the photo lampshade – ha!).

Even though the United States is out of the World Cup, it doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy some amazing soccer.  And it’s a great excuse to throw a summer party that has a different spin than the typical backyard BBQ.  Check out these fun party tips for hosting a World Cup watch party.

Speaking of barbecues, I love this roundup of new twists on some classic recipes.  I’m definitely going to try these sweet tea ribs – yum!

You’re not doing summer right if you haven’t enjoyed a popsicle yet.  Here are 10 delicious options if you’re looking to try something outside of the traditional Bomb Pop.

Enjoy!

 

Summer Throwback

lightening bugs

Summer is in full swing and there are plenty of trips to the pool planned along with a vacation to the beach.  But I also want to celebrate the season by sharing some of the simple things I did as a child during the summer with my kiddos.

Family bike ride to the ice cream shop – When I was growing up, my family lived a mile away from a quaint creamery called Adams Dairy.  One of my favorite summer memories is the family biking to the dairy on warm summer nights to enjoy an ice cream cone.

Catch lightning bugs – Firefly or Lightning bug? In the Kansas City suburb where I grew up, it was most definitely a lightning bug.  I loved catching lightning bugs in a jar with the plan to use them as a night light in my room.  Somehow when I woke up each morning, the lightning bugs had “escaped” back to their natural habitat.  Not sure my parents were as into my night light idea as I was.

Picnic at the lake – I love Subway and Jimmy John’s as much as the next person, but there is something to be said for making your own sandwiches at home and using a real picnic basket.  And there are plenty of local lakes to choose from in my beloved landlocked city.

Go to the drive-in – I can remember riding to the drive-in in the back of a pickup truck loaded with pillows, blankets and friends.  These days we’ll strap in with our seat belts for the drive there instead of hanging on to the edge of a truck bed, but we’ll still enjoy a movie in the summer air.

Water balloon fight – We used to celebrate the last day of school by playing Red Rover (anyone remember that one?) followed by a water balloon fight.  Not sure that my kids will take long drinks from the hose as they fill their balloons like I did back in the day, but they will love having a water balloon battle with friends.

Pick-your-own fruit – I enjoy going to the Farmer’s Market but this summer I want my kids to experience picking their own fruit (literally).  Growing up, we had an apple tree in our backyard to snag a snack from.  Luckily there are several local orchards nearby where I can take the kids to pick everything from strawberries to peaches.

What were some of your favorite summertime activities as a child?  Share some of your experiences below or sound off on the firefly vs. lightning bug debate 🙂

image: princesscourts.tumblr.com

Weekend Bits – Links I Love

linksilove 6.7.14Swimming at the pool, a lemonade stand and sleepovers, summer vacation has officially started at my house.  We packed so much into the first week that I’m using this weekend to recover and gear up for week #2.  One thing I’m giving a little more thought to is healthy summer snacks to pack for the pool.  I typically throw a bag of pretzels and some Twizzlers in my pool bag and call it good.  When I read this list of healthy pool snacks, I was guilted into putting a little more effort into my snack packing.

Speaking of the pool, if you don’t have a swimsuit picked out yet you need to check out this next link. It features 111 swimsuits for every taste, shape and budget.

And from swimsuits I jump to food.  Not the best segue, I’ll admit, but it’s how my mind works. 🙂  Fish tacos are one of my favorite meals to order when dining out so I’ve been looking for a version to try at home.  This recipe for spicy fish tacos with cabbage slaw + lime crema looks ahhh-mazing!

Father’s Day is next weekend so it’s time to brainstorm some ideas if you haven’t already found the perfect gift.  Here are affordable ideas for the dad who has everything.

“Tropical, creamy and sweet, but not too sweet” is how this mango coconut & orange vodka crush cocktail is billed.  It sounds like the perfect beverage to try for the next adult night at the pool.

Cheers!

 

 

Summer Sangria

Nothing says summer like hanging out on the deck or at the pool sipping sangria with friends.  My favorite recipe is a lighter version of the traditional ruby sangria because it’s made with white wine rather than red.  I serve it in a clear beverage jar so I can load it up with lots of colorful fruit like lemons, limes and oranges.  It looks as good as it tastes.

Cheers to summer!sangria 1

Summer Sangria

1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. triple sec (or other orange liqueur)
1/2 c. brandy
2 (750 ml) bottles dry white wine
1 (750 ml) bottle club soda, chilled
1 c. lemon, thinly sliced
1 c. lime, thinly sliced
1 c. orange, thinly sliced
*you can also add kiwi, strawberries and grapes – almost any fruit works!

In a large chilled pitcher, combine sugar, orange liqueur, brandy and white wine. Cover and refrigerate for 2 1/2 hours. When ready to serve, slowly stir in club soda to taste. Add all fruit and some ice.  Pour a glass and ENJOY!