Sunday, April 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Adam L.

Tomorrow is my sweet husband's birthday. I thought it'd be the perfect chance show you a little bit more about him and why I love him so much:

1. He's goofy:
(he's the one in the pink, and yes this is his prom photo)

(yes this is his real hair, and yes it was only for a couple weeks-yikes!, and YES this is before we were dating, ha).

2. He's a great athlete (one of those ones who's good at everything):

3. He's loves to dance:

4. He's an awesome friend:

5. He's a great uncle, brother, son, grandson, and in-law:

(he loves his crazy hair...)

6. He's such a blessing to me:

Happy Birthday Adam, I'm so thankful for you!


PS. Here's a little teaser: We had a little surprise party to celebrate him this weekend...

... and we made Beer Cupcakes!
More photos and a recipe to come soon!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Madras Slushes

Is it me or does everything taste better in slush form?
Remember our Brandy Slush post? I mean really, who knew Brandy could taste so good?

For whatever reason, at the first sign of warm weather, my instinct is to go get a slushy. Ask Adam, it's true.
I'm not entirely sure why, but I think it has something to do with my childhood "Slurpee after soccer practice" routine. Perhaps that, paired with the fact that it was rarely warm outside where we went to college, (Grove City College--go Wolverines!) and so when it was, we'd treat ourselves with slushies from Sheetz.

Whatever the reason, I crave slushy things when it's hot outside.

A couple weekends ago, I ventured off from my normal recipes and tried making a Madras. In the process I thought to myself "why not get crazy and make it a slushy Madras?" So that's what I did.

For those who don't know, a Madras is easily confused with its vodka-cranberry cousins like the Cape Codder(vodka-cranberry), Sea Breeze (vodka-cranberry-grapefruit) and Bay Breeze (vodka-cranberry-pineapple).  It obviously has the vodka-cranberry components, but adds in a bit of orange juice into the mix.

Want to make one too?

Here's what you need:

1 1/2 oz vodka
3 oz cranberry juice
1 oz orange juice
10-12 ice cubes
(though I would have probably added more ice so it was a bit slushier)
a clementine for garnish

Here's how to do it:
combine all ingredients into the blender
blend until smooth

serve in your favorite glass
garnish with a clementine slice (it's more petite)

The combination of tart, sweet, and slush was perfect way to satisfy my warm-weather cravings.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Doggie Ice Cream

You might remember that Adam and I have a dog, Stetson.
He's a spunky, 2 year old, St. Bernard that has a patch on his side in the shape of a heart.

I have been known to spoil him a bit...
For instance, for his first birthday I wanted to throw a "hot dog" party, but Adam said it was too much.
So instead, I just got some birthday hats for the three of us, and sang to him, solo.

So see, I can admit, I'm quite deserving of my reputation.
But despite people making fun, it hasn't really stopped me.

However, this last weekend I got a picture text from a good friend of mine of her dog's first birthday cake
(in the shape of a bone, mind you),
I realized I might not be the only one of these crazies out there...

So, this post is for you other dog owners, who love your dogs a little extra.

I'm going to share a little secret a pet store worker gave me one time:

How to make "Doggie Ice Cream".

It's not really a recipe, just pumpkin filling in an ice cube tray!
And if your dog's lucky like Stetson, it'll be in the shape of a heart.
 (The pumpkin filling is the same kind you'd use in pie or bread, but make sure it has no sugar)
It's great because pumpkin is good for dogs and has been known to help with digestion.

Just fill it...

freeze it...

and serve it to your favorite pooch...

They'll love it.
It's the perfect hot summer day doggie treat!
Especially when you're dog is more of a winter weather kind of guy.

Be careful though, they'll try to sneak them when you're not looking...

...and will keep trying even after you've moved them.

Doggie Ice Cream: cheap, healthy, and Stetson approved. 


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sparkling Italian Lemonade-my pinterest find

This is what I'm sipping this weekend, while I sit outside, in the 75 degree weather, and read the 3rd Hunger Games book.


What are you sipping on this weekend?


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"Orange-you glad you can make these at home" Orange Julius Recipe

(Don't worry, I already know that's the cheesy title for this post.)

But these tropical delights will always remind me of a good trip to the mall--orange cream is the scent of hard work and plastic shopping bags in my opinion (anyone else with me on this?).
 I mean really, where else do you get Orange Julius besides at the mall?

So, being able to have these treats whenever we want? that really IS exciting, and I AM glad I can make them at home. And what's better, they're not nearly as difficult as I was anticipating!

I saw the recipe here first, and adapted it to make a bit more convenient for myself, as always.

So if you want to bring a little Orange Julius love to your home too,
I'll show you what I did so you can do it too! :

Here's what you need:
1 c orange juice
1 c milk (we used 1%)
1/4 c sugar (we used a little less)
1 t vanilla extract (I always measure the vanilla over the bowl, extra vanilla is almost never a bad thing)
10-12 ice cubes.

Here's how to do it:
Pour all the ingredients into the blender

(see I told you I'm generous with the vanilla)

Blend it all up, pour into your favorite glass, maybe even add some orange zest to the top, and sip away.

The perfect pre-shopping/post-shopping treat. 
Oooh, or wouldn't it be great for a brunch?

Seriously. So. Good.
Anyone else love Orange Julius? 
Have you tried making them at home before? 
We'd love to hear!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sun Tea

We've had such a warm spring here in Denver.
This might not appeal to some, but to Kirst and I, it's been quite a treat.

But last week was a bit of a reality check that it's still only spring, not summer
(actually, this weekend was cold even).
 And though we're thankful for the rain, because we know we need it,
we girls are ready for that warm dry weather to come back.

And so in effort to encourage the sun to come back out again this week, we thought we should post something that we made back a couple weeks ago, when it was in the 80's (yes, 80s!): 

 Sun Tea

Have you ever made this before?
We suspected that it might be the world's easiest drink to make,
but we still looked it up to be sure we were doing right,
and it is, in fact, as simple as we were thinking.

Take 4-6 tea bags...

...put them in water in a pitcher (no need to boil--that's the point of sun tea)...

...set outside, in the sun of course, for 3-5 hours...
You might want to put a lid on your pitcher.
Adam mentioned that after I was finished brewing the tea...didn't even cross my mind, nice huh?

...add some ice and some lemons or limes and serve.

It's easy and it's been sun-kissed...that just sounds divine doesn't it?

See Mr. Sun, we need you to make our tea. Please come out again soon. We missed you last week!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Behind the Scenes of Sips etc.

A little while ago I discovered that taking pictures for the blog was not my favorite thing.
Don't get me wrong, I do like it, but between figuring out post ideas, making drinks, and writing the post,
I didn't have much patience left for picture taking too.

<Enter knight in shining armor>

So believe it or not my sweet husband volunteered to do it.
And to be fair, he's way better at it than me anyway.
With him, picture taking shouldn't be taken lightly...a few shots just won't do.
 (Where as my impatient self was willing to settle for one or two pics with no problem).

Excuse the plastic on the floor (and the computer monitor) there was some painting being done on the house.

So now with most of our posts (not all, I still do some pictures if he's not around, and Kirst does some too) he's the man behind the camera: on the floor, climbing on tables and dragging things outside.
And I'm his (still somewhat impatient) assistant holding backdrops and watching for shadows.

We're quite the duo I must say.

But he's pretty cute isn't he?
He might kill me for this post....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

summer's best drink- coconut iced tea

Ok, I know I'm getting a little ahead of myself. It is, in fact, barely spring. But the weather in Denver has been absolutely gorgeous lately. In celebration of the 70+ degrees, I've been making myself Summer's Best Drink. It's super easy, but I thought I'd pass along the how-to so that y'all don't miss out on this yumminess.

A word of caution- don't let your kids try this stuff unless you want to share it every time you make it from now on.

First of all, the secret ingredient is Starbucks' Coconut Syrup that I bought last year. I'm pretty sure they don't sell it right now, but you could probably use another coconut syrup (though, it might not be as good... I am pretty sure that Starbucks adds a little magic in theirs somehow). If Starbucks brings back Coconut again this year, I can't recommend highly enough getting yourself a bottle of this stuff. So there's that.

Anyhow, back to the Coconut tea (and how to make it). First, brew some strong black tea (I used decaf and couldn't tell a difference). To make it strong enough, I used four tea bags and let then let it steep for a bit.

Then, I poured the strong-tea into a pitcher halfway full of ice.

Add two tablespoons of Heaven Syrup (aka coconut syrup)...

                                                                ...and some stirring...

                                               ... and you have Summer's Best Drink.

Cheers to the gloriously warm weather!


If you're visiting from Skiptomylou's linky party, thanks for stopping by, we're glad to have you!