Fun, Travel

Labor Day Festivities

Labor DAY!

Do you know why we have the first Monday off in September?

“Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers and is traditionally observed on the first Monday in September. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894.” (history.com)

It’s important to always remind ourselves why things happen today. It’s also the last ditch effort to embrace summer before fall sweaters, boots and pumpkin everything happens.

How are you celebrating? I go to SC every year to visit family and have a long weekend of fun in the southern sun. There are always parades on the water and land and it’s usually beautiful at 80 degrees. We end up having tons of seafood and fun .

Are you thinking of a picnic? Having a party? Or going away for the long weekend? Whatever you decide I’m sure it will be great and dazzles with red, white and blue everywhere.

Here is a cute recipe for the holiday:

Labor Day Popcorn
Popcorn Themed Ingredients:
Plain popped popcorn (no butter)
Wilton royal blue candy melts
Wilton bright white candy melts
Wilton red candy melts
Red M&Ms
Patriotic nonpareils
Patriotic star confetti sprinkles

How To Make Red, White and Blue Popcorn:

Line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper. (This is not going in the oven, so you can use either.) Spread the popped popcorn in a single layer on the lined cookie sheet. You can use pre-packaged plain popcorn or you can pop your own. Read how to make Instant Pot Popcorn.
In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the blue candy melts for 45 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir until completely melted and smooth. Using a spoon, drizzle on top of the popcorn. Immediately sprinkle the patriotic nonpareils on top of the melted blue chocolate.

Add the white candy melts to a separate microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 45 seconds. Stir until melted and smooth. Drizzle on top of the popcorn. Before the white chocolate hardens, sprinkle patriotic star confetti sprinkles on top of the melted chocolate.

In a third microwave safe bowl, microwave the red candy melts and drizzle all over the popcorn. Immediately place the red M&M candies on top of the melted red chocolate.
Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator and chill for 1 hour to allow the chocolate to completely harden. Once hardened, break the popcorn into bite-size pieces.

 

Fun, Travel

Soaking Up the Last Bit of Summer!

Summer is Ending. Kids are headed back to school next week! 

As September is upon us, it’s time to make those plans for some last minute summer fun. There are so many things you can do that are fun and local. Have you visited your local zoo, gone mini golfing, or had a picnic in a local park? No matter where you live, I’m sure this article will help drum up some ideas to explore for you and your loved ones. 

For adults, I love going to local breweries and wineries to support local businesses. It’s like an adult picnic! Grab some friends or a date and pack some cheese, crackers, fruit and veggies and enjoy the day. You can also go to new local restaurants and have a date night or girls night out. I love getting out and going to a concert or a bar with local bands to dance the night away or just enjoy from the bar. There are so many great outdoor areas that make a cool ambience and unique experience. 

For families, there are fairs, petting zoos, farms, and other cute low key local hotspots that are sure to impress and not break the bank. Or how about a water park or amusement park for the day to get some thrill and exercise for the kiddos. There’s still time to go pick fruit and have a day to visit a local orchard. Sunflower mazes are going on and in full bloom. There are always pop up markets, carnivals, and parades that kids would love too. And many towns do touch a truck experiences this time of year. 

If you can, plan a beach or lake day to just relax and get some time to slow down. OR maybe plan a day trip to somewhere you have been wanting to visit.

School time and the holidays are upon us. Stay safe and much love! Enjoy the last bit of summer.

~Katie

Uncategorized

New Hampshire Adventures

NH Adventures

Have you ever wanted to visit the beautiful state of NH? Last summer I had the opportunity to live there for two months while my husband renovated a log cabin. We stayed in a little cabin that was secluded out in White Mountains and it was gorgeous. There is so much to do especially if you love the outdoors and have adventurous little ones. I would highly recommend  visiting. There are so many campgrounds, hotels, and quaint towns to visit. 

Even if you do more winter sport activities- NH is still a great place to visit. While we were there we hiked Mt. Moosilauke and Camel’s hump (VT) both were challenging, fun, and stunning aerial views. We also spent time hiking remote areas with our metal detector, went snorkeling and swimming in the swimming holes. They are everywhere and glorious. We even spent time gold panning in some of the river beds. The sound of the water flowing, nature chirping in the background and the pure silence of the hustle and bustle was just what the doctor ordered. 

If you want to go into town, the food is so good and affordable. Great local spots for ice cream- we visited Moose Scoops more than I care to admit. There are zip lining and rope courses downtown, the polar caves, and Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves that I would definitely recommend checking out for some education and fun. 

We went mini golfing one day, visited a local winery and brewery, and scavenged for covered bridges- there are over 50 in NH. Storyland is also a great spot for kids to visit. You can surely find fun for everyone when visiting. They have beautiful lakes and great pull offs for photo opportunities of the great mountain landscapes.

Another unique experience that I got to do was to pick daisies, boil them down, and dye my own yarn. I learned how to knit and I even made a hat. It was such an amazing experience. I read a book in I don’t know how long, lounged in a hammock, and really got to do some great soul searching and self care. It’s so important to take time to listen to what your body needs. 

If you are looking to get away and find some tranquil, fun and low key family fun- I would say you have found a great place to go.

 

Fun

Summer Family Fun Ideas

Summer is going by so fast, but have no fear there is still time for family fun. Join me as I break down the top 5 family fun things to do that won’t break the bank and are enjoyable for everyone.

 

  1. Mini-golf (my personal favorite) This activity is long enough but not too long. It’s a fun morning or evening activity for all ages.
  2. Beach day or lake day- pack the family up and head to the sand and water for a fun day of building sand castles, swimming, and reading (for parents)
  3. Picnic in the park- pack a fun lunch and snacks or dinner and bring a ball or cornhole games and just enjoy the great outdoors.
  4. Petting zoos or aquariums- with the pandemic hopefully behind us- many places have been letting kids in for free or at a huge discount. Go on a fun learning adventure today!

Since we are from all parts of the world, use this list as inspiration to plan a fun family day that is full of pictures, memories and laughs! Before you know it, it will be back to school and the fall will be upon us. 

 

Bringing the family together will allow everyone to take a break from work, phones, and give you a chance to reconnect and enjoy truly being together. So make the effort to minimize phone use and talk to one another. 

 

I’m planning a mini golf session this weekend and excited to have some quality family time and take time to refuel before going back to work Monday!

 

You can even make a game out of these activities to help the family engage and get into the activity together like a scavenger hunt or I spy type of fun. Or maybe a writing activity after to talk about their favorite part of the day.

 

Enjoy the day and can’t wait to see where it takes you!

 

 

Beauty

Summer Nail Colors

Need nail color suggestions for this summer? Look no further- I’m here to deep dive into the best color choices for 2021 summer that are trending right now venturing from classic style to bold new looks.

Here are the top 10 colors right now that will add some flare and style to your already cute outfits this season:

1- Cajun Shrimp
A vibrant and summery red nail polish that is classic and goes with everything.
2- Minty Green
A beautiful color that screams summer to me. You can dress it up or down and it’s a bright and warm hue of green!
3- Lavender
Who doesn’t love lavender. It’s relaxing and gives you that zen feeling. The pastel palette is sure to add a nice pop of color.
4- Yellow
Yellow is such a vibrant and happy color whether it’s neon or pastel. It’s a great summer vibe and sure to bring a smile to your face, even when it’s raining.
5- Blue
Sky blue and navy are both popular this season whether you’re traveling or going to a wedding. These colors are sure to compliment your look.
6-Orange
Who doesn’t like to go bold and be different. A bright and neon orange is a popular summer choice this season and will give your look a pop of color.
7-White
Classic white is a staple color. You can do a french manicure or fresh white manicure that will make you feel grounded and ready for any adventure.
8-Pink
There are so many shades of pink out there. I personally love a pastel pink that can match any outfit or event and give you a more natural feel.
9-Gray
This color can match any mood, outfit and adventure you are embarking on this summer!
10-Taupe
Something about a warm light brown color that brings you the sense of self awareness, comfort and the attitude that you can do anything.

I hope you enjoyed this summer nail color run down. I think pastel yellow is my next manicure!

 

Uncategorized

4th of July Picnic Recipes

The 4th of July is almost here and more and more people are wanting to get out and celebrate! What better way to do so than with a picnic followed by a fireworks show? Here are 10 recipes that are sure to dazzle and amaze!

 

Drinks:

Strawberry Lemonade

Who doesn’t love a good strawberry lemonade on a hot, summer day? Put it in mason jars for easy transportation for a great picnic drink option! Click here for the recipe.

Patriotic Punch

This is a great drink to show your patriotism for the 4th of July! Just make sure that all 3 juices/drinks have different amounts of sugar content per ounce.This will help keep the layers separated. Check out how to make it here.

 

Appetizers:

Salsa

What’s one of the first things that you think of when you think of picnics and appetizers? I think of dips! This homemade salsa recipe is the perfect start for your 4th of July picnic!

Avocado Spinach Artichoke Dip

Another dip to include is this cool twist to a spinach artichoke dip option! You can bring a bunch of tortilla chips to enjoy both dips on this list! Find out how to make it here.

 

Entrees:

Pulled Pork Sliders

These sliders are a great option to keep entrees in individual sized portions to help keep everything organized! They’re great to make ahead of time and warm up right before you pack your picnic! You can find the recipe here!

Beef and Mushroom Burgers

You can’t not have burgers to celebrate the 4th of July, right? These beef and mushroom burgers are a perfect addition to your picnic basket! Learn how to make them here.

 

Sides:

Deviled Eggs

Who doesn’t like deviled eggs?? They make for a great pairing with both entree recipes listed! Check out a delicious recipe for classic deviled eggs here.

Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad with Walnut Pesto

Another great side to pair with the entrees listed is this awesome version of pasta salad! Veggies and pasta, what isn’t there to love? Find out how to make it here!

 

Desserts:

Sugar Cookie S’mores

Cookies? S’mores? What’s not to love about this fusion?? It’s a great dessert option that’s portable! You can find the recipe here.

Patriotic Candy Bark

How do you show your patriotism apart from drinking some patriotic punch? You also indulge in patriotic candy bark! Check out this delicious recipe!

 

Do you have a go to 4th of July picnic recipe that never fails? Comment it below!

 

If you are not following me on Instagram, you can find me here. And if you would like updates on everything that’s going on with both my romance books and my children’s book series, sign up for my newsletters!

Uncategorized

Summer Wines

It’s summertime! Which means turn on the grill and hang out, right? But what if you want wine to go with it? Summer grilling usually means lots of protein and lots of sauces. How do you figure out how to pair a good wine with so many options?

When deciding which wine to pair with something straight from the grill, you want to consider how hearty the food is and what is the dominant flavor. Lighter foods, such as white-fleshed fish, veggies, or chicken breasts, oftentimes go with lighter wines. While heartier foods, such as steaks or burgers, pair better with a more robust wine. Identifying what the dominant flavor is for your food can help you determine which flavors in your wine will compliment the best.

However, there is no specific science to pairing wine with food. Win is high in acidity. This tends to help refresh the palate. A lot of red wines also have fat-cutting tannins in them. With a huge assortment, have fun playing with different pairs! I have listed a few different wines that are awesome for the summer and also won’t kill your wallet.

White & Rosé Wines

2020 Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Experience a combination of brash lime, herb, and tropical flavors for only $17 a bottle.

2020 Commanderie de la Bargemone Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rosé

With flavors containing juicy melon, berry, and orange-zest, this bottle goes for $18.

2020 Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc Made with Organic Grapes Reserva

This wine smells similar to a spicy margarita! If you’re into that, you can pick it up for $12 a bottle.

2020 J Lohr Arroyo Seco Sauvignon Blanc Flume Crossing

This wine has sweeter melon and ripe citrus flavors and costs only $14.

2020 Cousiño Macul Isidora Sauvignon Gris

This is a white wine with a little more body and spice being from Chile. You can take it home for $15 a bottle.

Red Wines

2019 Layer Cake California Cabernet Sauvignon

This red wine has luscious blackberry flavors with a gentle cedar note for only $14 a bottle.

2019 Selvapiana Chianti Rùfina

You’ll love this red wine that is well-balanced with ripe fruit and floral notes. Check it out for $18.

2018 Masciarelli Montepulciano di Abruzzo

This wine is thankfully easy to come by and is loved by many with its red fruit and peppery flavors. Find it for only $12 a bottle.

2018 Codirosso Chianti

For $13, you’ll definitely want to check out this wine with a soft texture and intricate flavors.

2019 Pavette California Pinot Noir

This Pinot Noir has great toasted spice aromatics and bright, ripe red-cherry flavors. It might become a staple in your home for only $12.

 

If you don’t see your favorite summer wine listed, comment below!

If you are not following me on Instagram, you can find me here. And if you would like updates on everything that’s going on with both my romance books and my children’s book series, sign up for my newsletters!