Check out my favorite parties added to our site this week...
An incredible Cookie Monster birthday party for a two year old, a stunning pink and gold girl birthday party , a Scooby Doo party with a camping theme, and an Alice in Wonderland outdoor garden party you've got to see!
Clockwise from top left:
- Sweetly Chic Events & Designs' Cookie Monster 2nd Birthday
- Erin D's Bridget's Pink and Gold 2nd Birthday
- Caryn P's Scooby Doo Camping Party
- Bambini S' An Un-birthday for Twin Girls!
We're having a relaxing weekend. We're heading to see "Singing in the Rain" at our revival theater. Hope you're having a fun weekend too!
Who doesn't need a little cash over the summer?
We're excited to be part of this $800 Sizzlin' Summer Cash Giveaway with so many other amazing blogs and businesses. (To see a full list of sponsors, please see the Rafflecopter entry form below.)
Sizzlin' Summer Cash Giveaway!
July 11, 2014 at 12 a.m. EST to July 19, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST
Prize: 1 winner will receive $800 PayPal cash.
PLEASE USE THE RAFFLECOPTER FORM BELOW TO ENTER
The more entries you complete on the Rafflecopter form, the higher your chances are of winning. If you don’t have time to fill out all of the entries you may come back and complete any entries that you may have missed.
One thing that brings me a tremendous amount of happiness during these lazy days of summer, is baking. First, I love sweets, so that's easy. But second, unlike cooking, where there's a fair amount of wiggle room, baking has to be precise. To me, baking feels like little science experiments. And there's always a little bit of surprise and satifaction at the end when it all turns out.
And that brings me to the final reason why baking brings me so much happiness. It's because I love to share what I've made. Summer is this awesome time when everyone is outside -- people are walking their dogs, kids are playing, bikers are biking -- and there is nothing that brings me more pleasure than walking out of the house with a plateful of freshly baked treats, and sharing them with our neighbors.
We have so many wonderful neighbors where we live, so it's my way of "spreading the happy," as Nutella says. :) They will be gone in seconds flat!
And that brings me to my most recent recipe... my Strawberry Nutella Cheesecake Squares, which I surprised our neighbors with yesterday, and the looks on their faces were priceless. They loved them... cool, creamy cheesecake on a hot summer's day!!
The strawberries gave it a little texture and fruitiness, and the Nutella gave it some smooth chocolate yumminess. All in all, the science experiment worked and I brought a little happiness to some of our favorite neighbors... and definitely to myself!
For the Filling
- 24 ounces cream cheese (three 8oz packages)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 packages of strawberries
- 1/2 cup of Nutella
- 1 box (11-12oz) shortbread cookies
- 1/2 cup walnut halves
- 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
- 1 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9"x 13" pan with tin foil, leaving enough overhang that you can lift out the cake once it is cooked.
Melt the butter (about 30 seconds on high in the microwave). Put the cookies, walnuts, and salt into a food processor and pulse until broken down into crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until combined. Spray the pan with some non stick spray, and spread the crumb mixture along the bottom, flattening it with your hands.
In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. You don;t need to over mix, you just want a smooth consistency.
Pour the mixture into the pan and smooth with a spatula. Put it in the oven for 30 minutes, then turn it down to 300 and cook for another 20 minutes. Turn off the oven, open the door, and let it sit in the oven for another 15 minutes. Let it cool on the counter until you can handle the pan, then put it in the refrigerator for 2 hours to help it set up.
There are a lot of cooking techniques like placing the pan in water while it cooks to try to keep the top from cracking. But since we are going to top the cheesecake with strawberries, you don't have to worry about cracks!
Take the cheesecake out of the refrigerator and use the foil overhangs to lift it out of the pan. Cut the strawberries in vertical slices, and place them on the top of the cake like scales.
Cut the cake into 3"x 2" squares, then pipe some Nutella stripes across the top. I put the Nutella in a Ziplock bag that I cut a tiny corner off of to pipe.
Best served cold, with the first couple days.
Nutella® hazelnut spread is a happy start to every day! Pick up a jar of Nutella in the spreads aisle and enjoy it with whole wheat toast, waffles, pancakes, strawberries, bananas and many other foods. Nutella. Spread the HappyTM.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by the makers of Nutella via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Nutella.
For this post, we were asked by Sauza to design our own pair of summer jorts. Well, when the Crayola fabric markers arrived from Amazon in the mail, my daughter, Lainey, refused to let me do this project alone. She grabbed a pair of her jeans and started cutting off the legs. (I did had to come in and rescue the jeans a little.)
We decided she would design the front of the jorts and I would design the back.
I love the scene she created. She wanted it to feel very summery, which is why she added the palm tree and the big yellow sun.
I added a rainbow chevron pattern to the back. Rainbow chevron is a very popular pattern we see at summer parties on our site so I thought it only fit.
To add to the feeling of summer (in addition to our cool jorts that my daughter won't stop wearing), I also wanted to give away something fun to help you (the adults in the room) celebrate.
To me, margaritas are such a perfect summer brunch drink, so I asked Michelle from Printabelle to design some free "margarita" printables straw flags and toppers that would work well at a summer brunch party. Here you'll see I attached the straw flags to my papers straws, and stuck some toppers in some big yummy muffins. Brunch is served!
For the margarita, my recipe of choice is always the "Sauza-rita." I love the way the light beer mellows the tequila so you get a more well-rounded drink. It definitely won't overpower your brunch. Here's how I make mine...
Makes 9 servings
- 1 can frozen limeade
- 1 can Sauza Silver Tequila
- 1 bottle light beer
- 1 can water
Pour limeade and beer into a pitcher filled with ice. Fill limeade can with Sauza® Silver, pour into pitcher. Fill limeade can with water, pour into pitcher. Stir and enjoy.
These are seriously refreshing and not too strong. I recommend lots of ice!
Now please enjoy some brunch in summer style, and maybe in a pair of jorts!
There's nothing more macho than the Sauza tequila cowboy getting his DIY on! Take a look here...
Ever think you could make jorts with a cowboy? Here's your chance to meet a man who crafts his heart out. Okay, so maybe he's not the best DIY-er. But what he lacks in cutting skills, he more than makes up for when he makes the perfect Sauza-rita. Watch him in action for ideas for your next ladies' night in: http://bit.ly/1juaLln.
Sauza® is a registered trademark of Tequila Sauza S. de R.L. de C.V. (“Tequila Sauza”) and is used with permission. The information, comments and ideas expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Tequila Sauza, its affiliated companies or any of their directors or employees. Tequila Sauza does not sponsor, authorize, or otherwise endorse this website.
I love summer parties! This weekend I got to throw one, and I have to say, summer parties are my favorite. It's the casual, easy feel of eating outside, the delicious summer fruits and vegetables, the long days and warm nights, and even the flip flops (and yes, I wore them)...
We invited over some old family friends and their children, and thanks to Pier 1, I got to really style it up (I call my theme "colorful boho"). I also used our new free retro summer printables to help set a playful mood!
The welcome sign was a huge hit with the guests, they all commented on it."Fred's Steak" that we get at our local butcher. It's got this weird black exterior, but tastes amazing on the inside!
If you love retro party styling like me, check out this set of free retro summer party printables Michelle at Printabelle has designed for us!
The collection includes: a "Let's Eat" welcome sign, cupcake toppers, thank you cards, straw flags, and blank tented cards.
Here are the individual files...summer parties on our site!
And remember, if you’d like any of these printables personalized, Michelle will do it for $3 per file! To learn more about Michelle and see all the printable collections, head to Printabelle and the Printabelle Facebook page.
Kristen and Missy from Sweetly Chic Events & Designs are here today with a beautiful ribbon chandelier DIY that would look great at a girl birthday, baby shower, bridal shower, or even as room decor.
Nothing says "feminine" like delicate ribbon and lace, and a ribbon chandelier is an easy and beautiful way to add an ethereal, shabby chic feel to your next event!
- Large embroidery hoop
- Small embroidery hoop
- Assortment of ribbon and lace
- Hot glue gun
1.) Take your large embroidery hoop and hot glue a 12 inch strip of ribbon to the hoop, leaving a small amount of ribbon at the top to wrap over the top of the hoop.
Thank you Kristen and Missy for your beautiful DIY. I definitely want to make a ribbon chandelier for my daughter's room. She would love it hanging above her bed.
Check out my favorite parties added to our site this week...
A red, yellow and blue Pinocchio birthday party with circle decorations, a camping boy birthday party with a nature scavenger hunt, a 50's bridal shower with a perfect housewife theme, and an Disney's Up inspired boy birthday party with colorful balloons!
Clockwise from top left: