Refreshing Summer Cocktails

There's no better way to beat the summer heat than with an ice-cold beverage! To spice things up a little bit, we decided to have some fun this summer and make delicious, thirst-quenching cocktails to enjoy on these hot summer days!


Image Credit: What The Fork Food Blog
  • 1 bottle moscato
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cubed watermelon
  • 2 cups cubed pineapple
  • lemon lime soda

Directions:

1. Pour wine and brandy into a pitcher and stir. Add lime, watermelon, and pineapple.

2. Place fruit in a glass with ice. Pour sangria over and top with lemon lime soda.


  • 1/2 oz. Midori Melon Liqueur
  • 1 1/2 oz. Smirnoff Watermelon Vodka
  • 3 1/2 oz. Lemonade
  • Fresh watermelon chunks

Directions:

1. Add melon liqueur, watermelon vodka, lemonade, and ice cubes to a cocktail shaker.

2. Shake for 30 seconds.

3. Strain into a rocks glass over ice and serve!

Image Credit: Growing Up Gabel

Image Credit: Growing Up Gabel

An important decision that relates to your wedding hairstyle is deciding what, if any, hair accessories you want. There are numerous options for hair accessories, from simple barrettes to long veils, and most accessories look great with whichever hairstyle you get for your big day

image courtesy of: vibbi

image courtesy of: vibbi

image courtesy of: girlyard

image courtesy of: girlyard

The classic hairpiece for your wedding day is wearing a veil. Veils are very traditional at weddings, and go with almost all wedding gowns and hairstyles!

 

image courtesy of: stylish wife

image courtesy of: stylish wife

image courtesy of: usa bride

image courtesy of: usa bride

Feel like an absolute princess on your wedding day by wearing your own tiara! Go with the classic tiara, or opt for a more fun and whimsical one with different shapes!

 

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image courtesy of: the honeycomb

image courtesy of: the honeycomb

image courtesy of: my wedding

image courtesy of: my wedding

Be creative and match your hair with your own bouquet! With greenery being a big trend in weddings this year, why not add some fun greenery to your hairstyle as well?!

After indulging in the main entrée, it’s time for the most delicious part of the meal…the dessert! While most brides choose to serve the traditional cake, tiered and full of different layered flavors, there’s alternative options for equally delicious desserts to serve your guests!

What a fun twist on the classic wedding cake! Cake pops have become a trending dessert, and they’re super easy to make (and eat)! Have a variety of flavors and decorations for your guests to choose from; the possibilities are endless!

Go the alternative route and offer nature’s candy to your guests – that’s right, fruit! Top the fruit with some whipped cream for extra sweetener, or if you can’t get yourself to stray away from chocolate (because I mean, who can say no to chocolate?!), offer a chocolate fountain to dip the fruit in! Yum!

Can’t decide on just one fun and unique dessert? Why not offer them ALL to your guests?! By having a dessert buffet, your guests will be able to pick and choose what they would like to indulge in after their meal, whether it be cake, assorted fruit, or pie!

image source: wikipedia

image source: wikipedia

The breathtaking natural beauty of Boulder, Colorado will attract the couple who cannot deny their fierce passion for adventure, despite their hopeless romantic tendencies. Both close to home and a refreshing change of pace, Boulder offers a much needed escape from reality after the anxiety of wedding planning has finally passed. In addition, for couples who wed in the summer, Boulder’s high altitudes promise cooler temperatures than other typical honeymoon destinations. This allows more opportunity for outdoor activities and exploration, and a chance to grow as a newly married couple while reveling in nature's bounty in its purest form.
Relaxation is promised by the many local B&Bs, especially The Bradley Boulder Inn--a TripAdvisor favorite, with reviews praising everything from the complimentary beverages to the delicious breakfasts. Located only a short walk from many local restaurants and shops--giving you a chance to explore some of the local nightlife after exploring during the day--The Bradley Boulder Inn is both convenient and comfortable--and utterly romantic in its simple, rustic elegance. The establishment offers everything from complimentary wine and cheese tastings to ideal downtown location for the ultimate leisurely getaway!
However, despite the temptations of the Inn, the real adventure lies beyond the homey comforts of your room. A brief car ride away awaits Chautauqua Park--one of Boulder, Colorado’s many attractions. Though the vast expanse of the mountains gives the impression of untouched wilderness, the park offers marked hikes and picnic areas for an experience you both will remember for a lifetime. You will not lack for scenery, as the many varieties of foliage and varying terrain will keep you out hiking and chasing that feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment which the end will bring for hours. One highly recommended hike is on Mesa Trail--a gorgeous intermediate level hike with well marked paths. We suggest bringing along a bag packed full of your favorite cheese, crackers and wine for an intimate moment together, and a chance to avoid the more touristy, crowded areas of the city. While the park offers a destination for your itinerary, Boulder is rich with other natural beauty to discover--particularly the Flatirons. Ancient reddish sandstone formations along Boulder’s foothills, the Flatirons are stunning to look at, and a rewarding struggle to trek along--or climb, for the adventurous spirit up for the challenge! The unknown and unexplored lies in the comfort of your backyard!
If an outdoor picnic does not live up to your ideas of romance, look no further than Blackbelly restaurant--a taste of local farm-fresh flavors in an upscale setting. Given the chef’s title of “Top Chef” champ, any hesitations can be thrown right out the window. Among their many delicious dinner options are the highly recommended fresh cuts of steak from their butchershop. However, their menu extends far beyond beef, with everything from crispy pig ears to delicious seafood. They also boast an extensive wine, beer and cider list--the cherry on top to any perfect dinner.
Though the list of activities and sightseeing are endless for your honeymoon, we still like to emphasize the importance of the little things during these trips. For her, Boulder Blooms florist shop offers a wonderful opportunity for a thoughtful surprise. A soft and delicate bouquet also serves as a reminder that, despite the chaos of daily life, you’ll always find moments to remind her how deeply you care. For him (and you!) we suggest a couple’s massage at nearby Elements Massage as a way to further encourage the escape from reality and time for indulgent relaxation which your honeymoon offers.
 

image source: boulder, colorado usa

image source: boulder, colorado usa

The spirit of summer is all about having fun and adventuring, whether it be trying a new activity, testing out the latest fashion trends, or experimenting with new foods. Instead of opting for plain pasta, try a healthier alternative with one our favorite shrimp scampi recipes with zoodles- perfect for any summer date night!

Image and Recipe Credit: Food Network

Image and Recipe Credit: Food Network

 
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium peeled and deveined shrimp, tails removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 cups zucchini noodles, from 2 medium zucchinis (about 1 pound)  
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
 
IMG_20170711_194952.jpg

Step 1: Heat your butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat.

Step 2: Once the butter has melted, add in garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir the mix until it’s fragrant and the garlic becomes a light golden color (this should take around 2 minutes).

Step 3: Next pour in the wine and lemon zest and cook until the alcohol smell is gone and the sauce turns to a nice golden color (around 4 to 5 minutes).

Step 4: Add in the shrimp, ½ teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Stir frequently for about 3 minutes or until the shrimp start to turn pink on the outside, but are still translucent on the inside.

Step 5: Stir in zoodles until they are coated with the sauce and begin to wilt slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 6: Transfer into a serving bowl and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with parsley.

Step 7: Serve and enjoy!

Note: Recipe takes about 30 minutes and serves 4.  The fastest and easiest way to make zoodles is to use a vegetable spiralizer. Although some can be pricey, there are many more affordable options available on sites like amazon and trust us, you won’t regret buying one!

 

 

 

The sounds of the waves crashing, seagulls chirping in the distance, your toes sinking in the sand…what better way to embrace the summer wedding season than having a romantic, whimsical beach wedding? Having a beach wedding is great for the laid-back couples who have a love for the ocean. Ditch the shoes and find yourself a casual, breezy wedding dress! Colors such as slate blue and greys will be beautiful for a calm wedding ambiance, or pop in some color with tropical pinks, oranges, and yellows for a fun wedding atmosphere! Feel the suns warmth and the sand between your toes as you say, “I do”!

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With every season that passes us by outside, it’s always fun to bring the seasons inside too; however, buying all new decorations and furniture to accommodate every season can get a bit pricey! Here are some easy décor changes to match any season!

image source: home bnc

image source: home bnc

Having a simple centerpiece filled with seasonal décor is a great way to bring the weather inside! Whether it be a bowl of seashells and bright fruit for summer, or autumn leaves and pumpkins for fall, it will be easy to save money during every season!

image source: society6

image source: society6

image source: little dekonings

image source: little dekonings

Another easy décor change is changing out the colors of your décor, such as with curtains and throw pillows. You and your guests will feel warm and cozy in the colder months with darker colors such as reds and browns, and cool and fresh in the summer months with light colors such as blues and whites!

image source: moms spark

image source: moms spark

image source: seasonal bounty

image source: seasonal bounty

Spend little to nothing by bringing nature inside your home! Whether it be a fresh vase of tulips in the spring, or frosted pine cones in the winter, it is the easiest and more affordable way to transform your house as the seasons change!

Image Credit: bippityboppityboo

Image Credit: bippityboppityboo

What’s more fun than sitting around the bonfire in the warm, summer nights and roasting some yummy marshmallows?! Even though we love the classic campfire treat, there’s a variety of different desserts that put a spin on the beloved s’mores! You can make mouthwatering s’mores cupcakes topped with a marshmallow frosting and graham cracker crumbs, or gooey s’mores bars! Here’s one of our favorite s’mores twists – S’mores Dip! 

Image credit: Five Heart Home

Image credit: Five Heart Home

  • ½ tbsp. butter 
  • 1 ½ cup chocolate chips 
  • 15 jumbo marshmallows, halved 
  • graham cracker squares 
  1. Place a skillet in the oven and preheat oven to 450° (with skillet inside). 
  2. Once oven is preheated, remove skillet and coat it with butter. 
  3. Pour chocolate chips into the bottom of the skillet.
  4. Arrange marshmallow halves over the chocolate chips, covering the chocolate completely. 
  5. Back 5-7 mins or until marshmallows are perfectly toasty! 
  6. Serve immediately with graham cracker squares 
Image Credit: Canvas Press

Image Credit: Canvas Press

With Independence Day right around the corner, it’s time to get started on 4th of July party planning! No party is great without tasty cookouts, loud fireworks, and of course fun, patriotic cocktails!


Image Credit: Noble Pig

Image Credit: Noble Pig

  • 1 bottle Pinot Noir
  • 1 ½ cup cranberry juice
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1 orange, freshly squeezed
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 8 oz. raspberries
  • 6 oz. blackberries
  • 1 apple, sliced thin
 
  • In a large pitcher, add wine, cranberry juice, brandy, and orange juice.
  • Add blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and apple. Chill overnight.
  • Fill glasses with ice then add fruit from the pitcher. Pour liquid over the ice and fruit, garnish and enjoy!
  • 1 ½ oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 ½ oz. blue curacao
  • 1 oz. grenadine
  • Splash simple syrup
  • Fill a tall glass with ice, and slowly add the grenadine
  • Next, add blue curacao (slowly)
  • Add lemon juice, simple syrup and vodka to a shaker. Cover and shake until blended.
  • Pour mixture into glass on top of grenadine and curacao.
  • Garnish with fruit and enjoy!
Image Credit: Budget Savvy Divas

Image Credit: Budget Savvy Divas

image source: style me pretty

image source: style me pretty

You’ve decided on your wedding venue, picked out your dress, and now it’s time for shoes! Having a summer wedding means your free to have all the open-toe options and you also have the option to even go barefoot!

Before picking shoes, it’s important to know your venue and the surfaces you’ll be walking on. As we all know, heels and grass do not mix well. That also applies with heels in sand. Don’t fret – this does not mean you can’t wear those heels you’ve been eyeing! If you’re getting married on the beach and want to wear heels, opt for a boardwalk aisle so you won’t be sinking in the sand. If you’re getting married in a backyard or on a lawn, you can also make an aisle runner on which you won’t sink in the ground; however, if you want the natural look, ditch the heels and wear chunky wedges, beautiful flats, sandals, or even the new trending barefoot sandals!

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Now that you’ve been invited to a wedding, it’s time to decide what to wear! Attending a wedding in the summer means you have a wide range of outfit options! From summery florals to bright pops of color, you’ll be the next best looking person in the room (next to the bride, of course)!
 

image courtesy of : hello his

image courtesy of : hello his

Have some fun with your dress and go for floral patterns! With a patterned dress like florals, you don’t need to have statement jewelry, for your dress is a statement itself! Chances are, you can also re-wear this dress as a sundress throughout the summer!

The bride’s not the only one who gets to rock lace on her big day! There are so many cute summer dresses with lace textures, you’ll have a hard time choosing which one to wear! Pair with some cute earrings and a clutch!

Brighten up this summer day even more with some bold pops of color! With colors such as hot pink and vibrant orange, it’s going to be hard not to take the attention off of the bride!

 

IMAGE COURTESY OF: SOCIAL VENTURE PARTNERS

IMAGE COURTESY OF: SOCIAL VENTURE PARTNERS

The warm summer sun, the sound of laughter from friends and family, and most importantly…the smell of fresh BBQ food! That’s right – it’s the summer kick-off BBQ! Nothing says “summer” like a fun BBQ cookout! Decorate your backyard with tables and stringed lights, make some fun cocktails, and dig in. Here are our favorite BBQ recipes for you to try this summer. Fire up the grill and enjoy!

IMAGE COURTESY OF: YOUR LIGHTER SIDE

IMAGE COURTESY OF: YOUR LIGHTER SIDE

IMAGE COURTESY OF: SEEDED AT THE TABLE

IMAGE COURTESY OF: SEEDED AT THE TABLE

Ingredients:
6 whole jalapeño peppers
6 oz. cream cheese
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 ½ oz. shredded cheddar cheese
12 slices bacon

Directions:
Cut off the jalapeño stems and cut in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds and membranes.
Combine cream cheese, garlic powder, and cheddar cheese in a bowl. Stuff mixture into the jalapeño halves.
Wrap each jalapeño completely with bacon and secure with toothpicks.
Grill jalapeños cut side down until bacon is crisp (6 mins). Flip peppers over and cook an additional 10-12 mins. Serve and enjoy!

IMAGE COURTESY OF: CLOSET COOKING

IMAGE COURTESY OF: CLOSET COOKING

Ingredients:
4 (6 oz.) boneless chicken breasts
½ cup balsamic vinaigrette
8 oz. fresh mozzarella ball, sliced
1 ripe tomato, sliced
¼ cup basil, sliced
¼ cup balsamic reduction

Directions:
Marinate the chicken in the balsamic vinaigrette overnight
Grill the chicken until cooked and slightly charred, 2-4 mins per side before topping with mozzarella and tomato (keep on grill until cheese starts to melt a little)
Serve topped with the basil and balsamic reduction

IMAGE COURTESY OF: BIKINI CLIQUE

IMAGE COURTESY OF: BIKINI CLIQUE

Finally, our favorite season is upon us! It’s time to throw on some flip flops and head to the beach! Since going to the beach is an all-day event, it’s important to know exactly what to pack in that cute beach bag of yours. Aside from the obvious, such as beach towels and sunglasses, we put together a list of our top beach bag essentials for summer 2017.

IMAGE COURTESY OF: STUDIO DIY

IMAGE COURTESY OF: STUDIO DIY

Even though we all want that sun kissed tan, it’s SO important to wear sunscreen! Don’t forget to reapply throughout the day, and it doesn’t hurt to pack a little SPF lip balm to avoid burnt lips! In addition, grab some protection for your hair. With products such as Sun Bum leave in conditioner, you’ll leave the beach with soft and hydrated hair.

IMAGE COURTESY OF: BIBLIOTECAEROTICA

IMAGE COURTESY OF: BIBLIOTECAEROTICA

Nothing is more relaxing than catching up on some reading with the ocean waves in the background. Whether on your kindle or a classic hard cover, be sure to buy some reading material to enjoy on your beach day!

IMAGE COURTESY OF: CASUALTY IN A BOAT

IMAGE COURTESY OF: CASUALTY IN A BOAT

Whether you bring headphones, speakers, or even your own guitar, having music at the beach surrounded by your friends is a great way to spend your beach day! Go the extra mile and get a waterproof speaker (and of course, be sure to be mindful of your beach neighbors with your music).

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Be sure to drink enough water throughout the day, as the sun dehydrates you! In addition to bringing water, it’s also smart to carry along a cooler to keep your drinks nice and cool (and to store some beach snacks, too). Get one of our favorite S’well water bottles here!

IMAGE COURTESY OF: S'WELL BOTTLE

IMAGE COURTESY OF: S'WELL BOTTLE

With the cold weather behind us, it’s time for a little summer wedding inspiration! Go for the classic, whimsical beach theme with colors such as slate gray and powder blue, or stick with a light and airy feel with colors such as green and peach. With bright pops of color trending in fashion, why not tie bold pinks and yellows into your wedding day? Whatever it may be, your summer wedding is sure to be fun, bright and warm!

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image courtesy of: bird's cards

image courtesy of: bird's cards

With Father’s Day approaching, it’s sometimes difficult to find a gift perfect for your hardworking dad. Do you buy him another watch, wallet, or more clothes? We’ve sought out to create a list of gifts that are perfect for every dad out there!

For the dad who loves…

What better way to start the summer season than to set your dad up with the perfect grilling gifts? In addition to buying him new grilling utensils, bring out your creative side and try making this DIY grill set holder,

 
image courtesy of: porch

image courtesy of: porch

image courtesy of: lil' luna

image courtesy of: lil' luna

or make fun sauces with labels for all the delicious BBQ foods he makes!

For the dads who have a passion for fishing, reel in some awesome gifts that he will love! From cute keychains with the kids’ names, or another DIY project to hang fishing photos from, your dad will think these gifts are the best catch he can get!

 

image courtesy of: natasha aloha

image courtesy of: natasha aloha

image courtesy of: hometalk

image courtesy of: hometalk

image courtesy of: kristen duke photography

image courtesy of: kristen duke photography

or bake him up some tasty hammer and tools cookies!

Does your dad love to design and build? If so, making him a custom toolbox filled with his favorite goodies is a great gift! Try making him this DIY toolbox filled with his favorite candies and drinks

image courtesy of: sweetopia

image courtesy of: sweetopia