Summertime Survival Kit

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Summertime is officially here which means pool parties, trips to the beach, barbecues, picnics, and all sorts of outdoor activities. Everyone remembers to bring the food and drinks, but items we usually forget are the ones that can save a summer party from being downright miserable.

Here is my list of summertime survival essentials that I take to every event. You can make your own kit and keep it by the door or in your car for simplicity. You’ll be glad you did!

1. Extra water

Because we all need to stay especially hydrated in the summer and you may need to give something a quick rinse. Please use re-useable water bottles! They are better for you and the summertime environments we all enjoy. I’ve been using my Nalgene bottles for over a decade.

2. Flame

You can’t light birthday candles, a campfire (unless you’re more skilled that I), or all those festive fireworks and sprinklers without a lighter.

3. Small first aid kit

You can buy one or just throw a few bandaids, wipes, and antibiotic ointment into a tin.

4. Sunscreen

For my husband and I, anything will do, but for the kids I really like the Babyganics products. You can purchase a great combo pack of the sunscreen and insect repellant here.

5. Insect repellant

In addition to the Babyganics repellent, my other favorite product is the bug repellant bracelets. Unfortunately for me, the bugs love me but these bracelets are AMAZING and they last for hours, even days!

6. Hand sanitizer

It’s not uncommon to find yourself at a summertime hotspot without running water. In a pinch, hand sanitizer will suffice!

7. Wet wipes

Baby wipes are my life! Seriously, I use them for everything. They are so handy to have in your summertime survival kit (or anywhere for that matter).

8. Hair care

Tangles and strays are part of outdoor activities so adding a detangling brush, large tooth comb, a few bobby pins, and some ouchless hair ties to your kit will make life a little easier for everyone. I love this set!

9. Instant Stain Remover

Barbecue sauce and clothing do not make great friends. Keeping some on-the-go stain remover is a great way to protect your threads from summertime stains.

10. Corkscrew/Bottle Opener/Multi-tool

A good multi-tool will include a corkscrew and bottle opener, but you can opt to have separate items in your kit. Nothing beats the standard Swiss Army Knife for functionality and durability, but this one comes in all kinds of cute colors!

11. Extra bags

Extra garbage bags aren’t only useful for trash and recycling, but are great for transporting wet towels and placing under wet swimsuits in the car. Throw in a few medium or large ziplocs too!

12. Dental floss or toothpicks

Because corn on the cob and ribs are summertime favorites. 😉

13. Solar phone charger

This really should’ve been closer to the top of the list, but I didn’t put them in any order. Definitely worth spending a little extra to have a decent solar phone charger. You won’t regret it.

14. Snacks

Kids are pretty much always hungry, but there are those times when adults need a little something to tide them over. Throw a few high-protein snacks that will stay good in the heat (granola bars and jerky are in my kit).

15. Sharpie

This may seem a little silly, but trust me it comes in handy. Especially when you’re trying to keep track of cups.

16. Baby powder

If you plan to frequent the beach or anywhere sandy, keep a small shaker of baby powder with you. It works wonders for removing sand from your skin!

17 & 18. Extra sunglasses and flip flops

If someone forgets to bring either of these or their’s break during a get-together, you’ll be their hero! I just grab extras from the dollar store to keep on hand.

19. Pain relief

Aspirin or anything that can relieve a headache. Nothing kills a good time like having a bad headache.

20. Umbrella

Finally, don’t forget to keep a small umbrella in your kit. Even though the sun is shining, summer rains can make an unexpected appearance.

Hope you all have a wonderful summer!

Sarah

 

Colorful Eggs for the 4th of July

Without fail, if I show up to a barbecue with deviled eggs they disappear within minutes. For July 4th, make your deviled eggs into red, white, and blue eggs that are really cool looking.

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First, hard boil your eggs. As soon as they are done rinse them in cool water and tap the shells with the back of a spoon gently enough not to break them. I like to really bang them up so they have a great pattern.

Place the eggs in bowls with water and food coloring. Place them back in the fridge for 4 hours or so. Remove the shells carefully to reveal the colorful pattern underneath.

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Slice eggs in half, scoop the yolks into a bowl and mix with desired amount of mayo. I divided mine in half and added blue cheese, or gorgonzola, to the filling for the red eggs and smoked paprika to the filling for the blue eggs.

These deviled eggs are fun, colorful, and make for great presentation. Enjoy!

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On Trend – Donuts

One of the more playful themes that is trending in parties and decor right now is donuts. Donuts are colorful, fun, and (of course) delicious! This theme can be used for all ages; baby showers, children’s parties, weddings, and more.

Let the donut puns begin, cause donuts are a ‘hole’ lotta fun.

Pastel donut wall

Donut wall

Donut walls and bars are popular right now, especially at weddings. This monochrome donut display from Inspired By This is an elegant take on the trend. They can be incorporated into wedding cakes and other dessert tables too.

Tiered Donut Cake

Donut cake

Tiered donuts

The use of pastel colors and floral accents gives donuts a more “grown-up”, bohemian feel, but it’s easy to add sophistication to even children’s parties.

Donut invitation

Milk and donuts

For a birthday party I would LOVE to attempt this giant donut cake from The Cake Blog. How cute is that?!

Donut cake

As always, I’d love to see your party pics and donut themes. Please connect with me on social media and share with me!

Love + sprinkles,

Sarah

DIY Dreamcatcher Decor

Dollar store DIY for beautiful dreamcatcher decor2

After looking at the cost of big craft hoops, I decided to make dreamcatchers using hula hoops from the dollar store for the Dream Big party. My local dollar stores only carry hula hoops during the spring but they are great for crafting so I always pick up several.

Dollar store hula hoops

All you need to create these are:

  • hula hoops (various sizes)
  • beads (ones with larger holes work best, but you can use regular thread to attach beads and feathers)
  • yarn
  • feathers

Dreamcatcher craft

This video gives concise instructions on how to weave the inside of the dreamcatcher. I didn’t bother wrapping the yarn around the hoop because I wanted the colorful hoop to show through. After you weave the inside, simply attach feathers and beads to finish the look. Voila! Now you have large dreamcatchers without spending a fortune!

Dreamcatcher

Dreamcatcher decor

Huge dreamcatcher

How to Make Blessing Stones for Party Favors

Blessingstones

For the Dream Big party I crafted lots of musical toys and dancing ribbons for the little ones to take home, but I wanted a gift to give our adult guests too. I wanted to make something meaningful that fit with the theme. I’ve been seeing communities participating in finding and hiding painted rocks around town and I have always loved the idea.

Of course, this was another one of my dollar store DIY projects. I found smooth rocks in the floral section and painted them with white spray paint.

Blessingstonesupplies

After the rocks were painted I wrote inspirational dream-related sayings and doodled on them before sealing them with Mod Podge sealer. I absolutely loved making these and they turned out beautifully.

Blessing stones

Party favors

Dream Big Party

For my son’s first birthday I wanted a unique theme that I could really great creative with. Because he is a Gemini, I started thinking about air, movement, and all things “flowy”.

Clouds, dreams, and feathers came to mind and I settled on the theme “Dream Big, Little Man”. See how I made the dreamcatchers here and the blessing stones here. I’d love to see your take on this theme. Please share your photos with me 🙂

Feather cookies

Hand-painted feather cookies

Hand crafted toys

Music makers, dancing ribbons, and bubbles for play

Dreamcatcher decor

Huge dreamcatcher

Dreamy tent

A shady play area by the pool

Blessing stones

Blessing stones for party favors

Comfy seating

Low table surrounded by pillows made it easy for parents and little ones to eat

Dream-themed foods

Gold-dipped shortbread, chocolate sugar cookies, and cupcakes

Floating cloud balloons

Helium filled balloon clusters to resemble “clouds”

Cloud balloons

Floating clouds

Dreamcatcher smash cake

Dreamcatcher smash cake

Dream party food table

A delicious assortment of foods that both the parents and kids loved!

Charcuterie

Charcuterie with dried fruits and dark chocolate

Charcuterie board

Charcuterie and cheese board

Let's eat!

Let’s eat!

Hand-painted party favors

Hand-painted party favors

Party favors

Thank you to our guests

Let's play!

Music makers, dancing ribbons, and bubbles for play

Handcrafted dancing ribbons

Crafted toys for the kids to play with

Dreamcatcher beads

Dreamcatcher beads

Feather-shaped cookies

Delicious feather-shaped cookies

Dancing ribbons and musical toys

More crafty play things

Poolside play area

Inside the play area

Dream party food spread

Yum!

Salad and nibbles

Strawberry and goat cheese salad with roasted peas

Dream Big invitations

Shabby Chic Beach Lamp

The massive undertaking that is my living room makeover is nearly complete! One of my final creations were the shabby chic beach lamps I finished last night. If you are looking an inexpensive way to make some nautical inspired lamps, take a look at this project.

Shabby Chic Beach Lamp

Easy DIY project for nautical, beach, or coastal themed decor

I wanted a set of lamps that weren’t too “matchy, matchy” or literal to complete my shabby chic beach decor, but everything I found that I liked was upwards of $150 per lamp. Um, I don’t know about you, but that isn’t where I want to throw some of my hard-earned dollars at. So I bought a cheap set of lamps; together they were $35. The best lamps to use are ones with simple shaped bases.

lamp1

I used 1/4″ twisted manila rope to cover my lamps. I needed 100′ of rope to get two solid pieces long enough to cover each lamp. Starting at the base, use crazy glue to lock in the first piece.

lamp2

Continue wrapping the rope by running a bead of hot glue around the lamp in sections and placing the rope tightly in line with the preceding layer. Be warned that you’ll be replacing the glue sticks often if you use a mini glue gun, as I did.

lamp3

Finish off the top by cutting the rope at an angle and making sure the final wrap ends on the back side of the lamp. There you have it, a quick inexpensive way to create unique looking lamps for your nautical, beach, or coastal inspired decor.

lamp5

I hope you enjoy! Please let me know what you think.

 

Light, love + laughter,

Sarah

 

On Trend – Desert Rose

I am absolutely in love with the “Desert Rose” theme that I’m seeing in party decor, interiors, edibles, and more. Cacti have been extremely popular in weddings lately too. The cool greens of succulents and the darker, almost emerald, cactus greens make a beautiful contrast with dusty rose and blush.

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Using crisp and clean design elements and metallic accents makes this a perfect theme for a bridal or baby shower. I would LOVE to host an eclectic desert rose dinner party for a more simple production, but I have seen some amazing weddings pulling from this trend.

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These cactus cupcakes from Leslie Vigil at Tasteful Cakes are adorable! The metallic drip icing on the cactus cake below adds more elegance suitable for a wedding (see more at brides.com)

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Easy Key Lime Cheesecake

I wanted to find an easy recipe that would welcome new residents to our South Florida neighborhood. This recipe will charm the pants off your guests. Shhh, don’t tell them it’s so easy!

Not only is this the quickest and simplest recipe I’ve come across, but the Tiramisu-style layering makes it look extra stylish without the work!

keylimecakes

 

Easy No-Bake Lime Cheesecake

1 c. graham crumbs
3 T sugar
½ t salt
5 T butter, melted and cooled
2 pkgs (8oz, each) cream cheese or Neufchatel, room temp
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 t freshly grated lime zest
1/3 c. fresh lime juice
½ t vanilla
½ c heavy cream

Combine the graham, sugar, and salt. Stir in the melted butter. Use this for the “crust” layer.

Whip the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until fluffy. Add the zest, juice, and vanilla.

Beat the cream in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold into cream cheese mixture.

Layer graham crumb and cream cheese mixtures in layers into serving dishes. I liked the messy look personally and didn’t fuss over it.

Cover and chill overnight.

Top with whipped cream, lime slices, or a little freshly grated zest and nutmeg when ready to serve.

It’s literally THAT easy! Enjoy!