A healthy 4th of July snack (and other BBQ recipes)

4th of july recipes


My favorite kind of recipes are the ones that don’t involve any cooking. I really like to bake, but cooking is a whole different ballgame. So while I was debating whether or not I should actually try making something new for this post, I figured that I should be honest and give you some easier options that I could actually see myself bringing along to a holiday BBQ.


Healthy 4th of July Snacks

For starters, I’m all about a simple skewer. I went with a light strawberry and marshmallow dessert for myself, but you can go for afternoon finger foods just as easily. We’re a big fan of steak with grilled peppers and onions in our house, but how great are these hot dog ones?!


Summer shortcake


And since strawberries are currently on sale at my grocery store (2 for $5!), it’s the perfect time to whip up some of my favorite shortcake. I used to have a few different recipes I would switch between, but a few years ago I did a little experiment at work and this was the clear favorite.


Chili Lime Sweet Corn Salad and other easy BBQ recipes

Every 4th of July party needs some corn on the cob, but I think this chili-lime-sweet-corn recipe would make for a great alternative. I also really like that they suggest you buy and cook your corn in the same day, because let’s get real, I’ll definitely be cooking last minute anyway.


loaded potato salad and other summer BBQ recipes

So let’s assume that we have hot dogs, cheeseburgers, corn, and fruit skewers- what are we missing? A classic potato salad! My dad makes a mean potato salad, but doesn’t a loaded potato salad sound like it would hit the spot?


So now that I’ve got you started, what will be on your table this holiday?


PS- Red, white and blue outfits!

Cinco De Mayo!

cinco de mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo, friends! One year when I finally find a job that doesn’t involve traveling all spring, I want to throw a Cinco de Mayo party! I’m always down for any excuse to get together great friends, eat fun snacks, and drink margaritas. Plus I really love the idea of passing around little mustaches and sombreros. I mean- think of the fun pictures those kinds of props can create!

My party would definitely include….


churro cupcakes

churro cupcakes

margarita jello shots

margarita jello shots

sopapilla cheesecake!

sopapilla cheesecake bites

fun margaritas and other cinco de mayo ideas!fun margaritas

the best homemade guacamole I've ever had!

great guacomole

and of course I’d throw tons of fun decorations around my apartment. Instead, I’ll be working in the office and then hitting the road for my next work assignment. You better believe that I’ll be grabbing a margarita at the hotel! (probably with lipstick on.)

What will you be up to today?

Valentine’s Day Extras

valentine's day

pillow, bear print, plate, mug,
gold print (“my heart is yours”), ice tray

After last week’s post I happily continued on my valentine’s day gift search. I have to admit that I’m not a giant Valentine’s Day girl, but I am a huge candy lover.  So I think it’s safe to say I’m totally okay with the holiday. While I may not be looking to fill my whole house with pink and red, I love to add a few extra sentiments of love where I can. These little extras add just the right amount of “oomph”.  Now it’s your turn: Are you a Valentine’s Day type of person?

Christmas Eve Magic

Christmas Eve

pajamas, slippers, earrings
Christmas Eve candle, mug cozy (similar)

Christmas Eve is my favorite holiday. This always surprises people.

Not Christmas day?
Nope. Christmas Eve is where it’s at.

I have a pretty big extended family and most of my cousins are right around the same age. Our get-togethers are fun and alcohol induced now, but they were magical with out anything extra growing up. All of our extended family would come to our house every Christmas Eve and I loved the feeling of being surrounded by everyone I loved in the comfort of my own home. We got to set the pace. We could do something fun and relaxing while eating great food and dressing up just enough to feel special, but still be comfy.

Then when everyone left my mom would give me and my sister a new pair of pajamas. We would get changed, write up our letter to Santa and pick out some good cookies. My mom would pour the milk and get some carrots for the reindeer and off to bed we went. I would toss and turn for what felt like FOREVER.

When the sun started to rise and I thought I could get away with a peek at the gifts, I would crawl out of bed and sneak down just a few stairs. From my high vantage point I could see right into the living room to double check that Santa made it before waking up the rest of the house.


Kids grow and traditions change but hopefully the feeling still remains. Unfortunately we don’t have such big get togethers any more, but old-time favorites like a fresh pair of PJs and delicious cookies have stayed around.

I’m going to disappear around these parts for the next few days in an attempt to spend quality time with my family and not get yelled at by Dean. I hope if you celebrate you have a great little holiday! (and if you don’t, I hope you still got off of work anyway ;-))

Handmade Gift Guide

I love any time of year that focuses on some shopping. I love even more that there’s been such a focus on small businesses and handmade artists over the last few years. In fact, a local city is hosting it’s first ever “Holiday on the Square” this weekend- an outdoor market event focusing on local artisans- and I’m super excited! You don’t have to be in the NEPA area to get in on the handmade fun. Here are two little gift guides filled with gifts for the ladies and gentlemen in your life. Purchase any of these items before December 10th to guarantee delivery before Christmas!

ladies handmade giftguide

cowl // purse  // bowls (large, medium, small)
necklace // bracelet // clutch

handmade gifts for menleather credit card sleeve // bowtie // manly candles
personalized wooden coasters // leather notebook // toiletry bag

Umba Bonus: Use the code LETSPARTY10 to get 10% off select accessories!

Looking for other gift ideas? Browse old gift guides here:

ideas for boys (under $25)
ideas for girls (under $25)
for mom
for dad
top cigar pics
for those who spend time in a kitchen