Friday, July 29, 2016

Five on Friday:Christmas in July

Happy Friday Friends! 

For my five today I thought I'd share some of the recent fun (on the 25th of course) we had celebrating Christmas in July.... for one day only! 


On the 25th my Mom and one of my daughter's friends came over and we got the Christmas music going and played it all day long! Nothing like Christmas music to put you in a great mood. ;)  And it's extra fun when it feels almost "naughty" as it was 85* F outside. Our fun began with my daughter doing a fashion show of some of her new school clothes (I'm just posting a few) and new headbands that she had made.


I didn't get a photo of the after, but during that morning I also got a big bone-in skin-on turkey breast slow cooking away in the crock pot. It's a yummy and easy recipe where you cook up some onion and celery in butter and toss it with easy boxed stuffing and dried cranberry and water or broth and let the turkey slow cook over it all day. I rub an herbed butter all over the top of the turkey skin and place some under the skin. All the yummy drippings go down onto that stuffing. Kind of an easy version of a holiday meal! You can find the recipe here.  We had a wonderful dinner that night of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn and cranberry sauce. Loved it!! And leftover turkey melt sandwiches the next day of course.



We worked on some fun holiday crafts together that we can keep for when the true season comes around. It was fun to think holiday thoughts while we sang Christmas carols and worked on these. 


Of course it wouldn't be Christmas without some baking. Thankfully we have air conditioning, so we fired up the oven and did some easy Christmas cut-outs. If you look closely you can see we did still celebrate a bit of summer too with a butterfly cookie cutter and a flower cookie cutter - to go along with the star, snowman and tree. 

And what are Christmas cookies without cream cheese frosting and sprinkles?

And I even indulged in baking some holiday bars that are favorites of my Mom and me. They use almond paste and almond extract and have that subtle  Christamsy cherry flavor. I usually only make them at Christmastime - so it was SO fun to taste them in July!  Here's the recipe out of a favorite Taste of Home Fall and holiday baking magazine I picked up many years ago:


And what good would any "Christmas" post be without some beautiful photos of the season. These are all off of my instagram from this past holiday season:

We had SO much fun and this is definitely a tradition I intend to keep. I'm linking with Amy of Love Made My Home for Five on Friday.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday

Good Morning Friends! 

I can't believe we're back to Monday already! Wow! It was a good busy weekend with my son's hockey tourney....but also the accomplishing of tasks around the house a bit too. All and all it was a lovely weekend but it flew by fast. Hope you had a wonderful weekend too and are ready for this new week ahead!


Sunny and beautiful out right now. 76* and supposed to get into the mid to upper 80's! The heat wave continues around the northwoods.


Some yogurt and glass of vanilla iced coffee.


Bright blue sky. Big puffy white clouds. And when I was watering my flowers I could still see the moon out....even though it was sunny & bright. Pretty cool.


Just listening to the last of the Outlander podcast. I love hearing Ronald D. Moore talk about the making of each episode. I FINALLY took the time to sit down and watch the finale for this season & it was SO good!!  I'm also planning out my day as we're having a Christmas in July party today - July 25th! Yay!! Jingle Bells,  Deck the Halls, Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire - bring it all on! We're ready for some Christmas in July for one day only. ;)  My Mom is coming over and we're going to listen to the music, do holiday crafts, some baking and maybe even watch a Christmas movie! Love it!!


Fairly tidy - but still needs a good deep clean. I have a wonderful best friend that's visiting this week from California. She's always been like a sister to me and we grew up across the street from each other and have known each other our whole lives. We have been best friends for so many years and about as close as 2 friends get - going through so much together in our lives. Unfortunately for me, she found her happiness and prince Charming out in California and has lived out there for around 20 years now. We still make efforts to keep regular contact and visit each other every few years. Her Dad and step Mom still live here so that gets her here too. I'm so excited to see her and may be hosting a friend gathering here this week - so need to get to that clean up!


Probably work on the house more tonight after the "Christmas" festivities. Laundry, whatever dishes we make, dust, scrub,vacuum, swiffer, give the bathrooms love, change some sheets etc. 


I've started a book and still also catching up on magazines and reading some crafting library books.


Some cooking shows. Big Brother. I'm way behind in America's Got Talent. We've been having some fun watching the old game shows they've been bringing back to prime time.   I have caught up on the Great British Baking Show on PBS. Just love that one!



MONDAY: turkey and trimmings. slow cooker turkey breast over stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, cranberries, corn etc. We're also baking Christmas cut-outs today and some almond bars (I usually only do at Christmas time).

TUESDAY: leftovers - turkey melt sandwiches

WEDNESDAY: sausage breakfast pizza over hasbrown crust

THURSDAY: grill night - or may be hosting friend gathering

FRIDAY: might be girls night out with my friend


Scrapbook catch up. Working on some cards.


Not sure about any new ones this week.


This is a rule my hubby wished I would follow! Lol


Some photos from our bay. I went down to try out our new dock (our old one was so rough and we invested in a floe dock that is adjustable). We've had some crazy storms here lately - I'm sure in part due to the weird hot weather - so it's made for amazing clouds like in the top photo.

My daughter had a friend over and was downstairs and too lazy to come up and talk to me. This is a typical conversation with us now that she's reaching the "tween" years. Lol! I'm so uncool now. 

My "uncool" stained glass window selfie. ;) 


I'm linking with Sandra of Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Five on Friday: Packing in Summer

Hello my Dearest Friends 'O Friends!! 

I hope you have wonderfully fun plans for the weekend ahead. It's another scorcher here today and I can't picture doing anything but hiding in the air conditioning! But it is supposed to get better after today.... so I'm hopeful it will improve and I can get some things done around the yard. That I have time in between our son's summer hockey tourney. It's always an odd sensation going from a hot day into a cold ice rink to watch hockey.  Life of a hockey Mom I guess...

Anyway, I'm getting off topic - which is that it's Five on Friday today! So I would like to share some of my plans for the ways I hope to still pack in some summer fun, as it's already flying on by! I can't believe it's almost August, can you??


I still have a lot of summer reading I'd like to pack in! I've finally started a new book - but I still have a pile of fun magazines to get through yet! I also recently picked up a pile of crafting idea books at the library I'm reading through as well. I snapped the top photo out of one of the books all about mason jar projects. Isn't that dressing jar idea adorable?? It could make a great summer gift for someone as well. Throw in some ingredients towards the dressing, a bag of salad and maybe even a fun summer cookbook. Put it all into a nice salad bowl with tongs and voila - adorable gift for a summer birthday pal!


Balsamic BBQ Sauce Recipe - balsamic vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, Worcestershire, Dijon mustard - make an amazing sauce with a hint of sweetness once reduced. Great on chicken or pork. We gobbled this up!!:

Skirt Steak Fajitas: mmmm marinated steak in your fajitas... looks to good not to make:

Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Honey Ricotta | This light and not too sweet summer dessert takes only minutes to make and tastes so good!:

I definitely want to pack in more grill time!! I love cooking on the grill in summer and adding that extra yumminess to summer recipes. Like balsamic BBQ chicken, or marinated grilled flank steak fajitas, or grilled peaches with cinnamon honey ricotta. Mmmmm. These are all recipes I have pinned under my "grilling" board on pinterest which you can find here.


Frozen fruit cups really good, super easy and healthy. Perfect substitution for freezies and sugary popsicles:

Taste just like Sour Patch Kids candy..a must try this summer. Much healthier than the candy.:

Monkey Bark - so cute and so simple!! Everyone will love this treat idea.:

33 Activities Under $10 That Will Keep Your Kids Busy All Summer:

I also want to get inspired to pack in more fun ideas with my kiddos. Like make our own fresh fruit popsicles, freeze grapes with jello mix so they taste like sour patch kids candy, make monkey bark, and find fun goofy activities we can do around our house and backyard or driveway together. We've already had some fun four square and pickle ball matches!! ;)  These ideas can all be found under my "kiddo ideas" board on my pinterest you can find here.


Looking for a quick and easy Summer dessert recipe? Try out delicious No Bake Summer Berry Icebox Cake !:

Apple Pie Fries -Super fun spin on a traditional apple pie. Dip them in caramel or even whipped cream for extra yumminess.:

Banana Cream Pie Cookies - Butter With A Side of Bread:

Pink Lemonade Crinkle Cookies - Perfect warm weather and backyard barbecue treat!:

There's also several fun treats that seem "summery" to me that I still would like to make before I get into everything cinnamon pumpkin or eggnog. Like summer berry icebox cake, apple pie fries to dunk in caramel, banana cream pie cookies and pink lemonade crinkle cookies. Summer sweet goodness!  These are all recipes I have pinned on my "sweet treats" board on my pinterest you can find here.


And I also have plans to start a new tradition I hope to do every summer - which is celebrate Christmas in July! I know several folks that do this sort of thing - being a Christmas nut just like me!! Lol One of them is my friend Billie Jo of the blog Afternoon Coffee and Evening Tea which you can find here.  Last summer I saw Billie Jo's posts about celebrating Christmas in July and taking a day to listen to Christmas music, watch a Christmas movie, do some holiday baking etc....and I was sold! I decided right then and there that come July 25th this year (exactly 5 months from real Christmas) I would make it a fun day like that. I knew my daughter (& my Mom) would be on board too! So I have some holiday crafts for us to work on (& save then for this winter) and I've been digging out my cookie cutters (we'll throw in a couple of summer ones too) in order to make some sugar cookies that we'll also decorate - all while we listen to Christmas music of course! Then I plan that we'll sip some cocoa (even if it's in the air conditioning) and watch a holiday movie of Annie's choosing. I'm also planning on making this slow cooker turkey breast and dressing recipe for dinner. It's a recipe I've made before that's delish! So come Monday at my house, for that one summer day only, it's going to smell like Christmas! 

I'm linking all of this summer goodness to Five on Friday at Amy's of the Love Made My Home blog. Happy weekend and Happy Summer to All!! xo