Friday Wrap: Friends & Fun

We had an action-packed week with some dear friends in town visiting. Once things settled back into a routine, I found a few tidbits I wanted to share, so this week’s top five list is a bit of a mishmash. One thing that is the same…I’m happy it’s already Friday. Love me some short weeks.

excited otter

This is how I feel inside.

Now let’s get to wrappin’ up this week like a present, shall we?

{ONE} All Kinds of 4th Fun

I’ll start by sharing some pics from the weekend. It went by so fast, which usually means we were having buckets of fun. And I’m here to say that fun was had by all – kids, adults, and even the animals.

friends

The girls are showing off their first fireworks of the day. They shot off some parachutes, which were fun to chase down. In fact, I think we still have some on the roof.

friends at the market

This was taken on our way to the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market. Look at our colorful ensemble.

avery and bear

You know how Avery loves bears? Well, she found one to play with at the market. (This is a beautiful mural on the side of a building in downtown Fayetteville, btw. I just love street art.)

weekend activities

This is a snapshot of a few more activities that filled our weekend. The kids had a blast painting each other’s faces, visiting Crystal Bridges Museum, eating Pedal Pops at the Farmers Market, and finally lighting some sparklers!! Notice the Solo cup hand protectors in the lower right? That was the best decision of the day. The kids could light sparklers without getting burned. #momwin

friends and tats

The adults had some fun, too! We’re showing off our temporary tats.

leo

Leo was such a trooper to put up with all of the madness.

{TWO} Lemonade for the Animals

As you can see, we packed in a lot of activities over the weekend. We even squeezed in some time for a lemonade stand! Our friends had the idea of donating the money to charity, and the kids picked our local animal shelter.

lemonade stand

Look at those cutie patooties. They even had stuffed animals on their stand to help sell the idea of helping animals. 😉

After the sale, the girls gathered their profits and shopped at PetCo for treats and toys. When we arrived at the shelter, the lady who greeted us said to go ahead and give everything to the animals. So we spent the next hour or so visiting each cage handing out treats and making some furry friends. They were so excited to see us. It was hard not to take them all home. This is why I need a farm, people.

animal services

We could have stayed and played for days. In fact, the girls asked if we could go back soon to check on the friends we made. <3

evan with dog

This is Evan and Yoda. I have to tell you, at first Evan didn’t want to go with us. He was being a bit of a moody teenager. Once we got inside, though, something changed. His face softened and I think he really felt for these animals. He wanted to stop and pet each one. Later that night, he told me he was really glad he went. A good lesson for both of us. 🙂

{THREE} Vanilla Nut Bites

Okay, so on Saturday we decided to go swim at our friends’ pool. It was awesome to have our new, local friends meet our long-time college friends. It turns out they’re all from Nebraska, which is even cooler. (Go Big Red!)

Anyway, this is the occasion where I was introduced to these balls of goodness called Vanilla Nut Bites. They are delicious, easy to make, and healthy – my three favorite ingredients.

vanilla nut bites on a pan

I forgot to mention they’re also no-bake, which makes them ideal for summer snacking. Don’t go heating up that oven if you don’t have to. I rolled these up in less than 10 min.

Are you ready for the recipe? Here’s all you need…

vanilla nut bites

Vanilla Nut Bites

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients in a food processor. Roll into balls (using a cookie scoop or something similar to make it easier) and put in freezer or fridge to set.

I’m tellin’ you, they are so good. And be prepared for inappropriate jokes about balls and nuts when you serve them – especially if anyone has had a glass of wine or two and/or has seen the SNL skit about schweddy balls.

{FOUR} Sweetest Tomatoes

While we’re on the topic of food, I have to announce we had our first garden tomatoes this week. It really happened.

With so much going on I hadn’t properly tended to the garden in awhile. The kids were playing outside and noticed something bright red in the tomato patch. Lo’ and behold, we had not one, but almost a dozen ripe tomatoes!

We quickly had a salad celebration complete with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a dash of sea salt. (That’s my favorite way to eat a fresh-sliced tomato. Sometimes I’ll add a basil leaf on top.)

They tasted so good, and I was reminded to add a bit of baking soda to the soil to help sweeten our next batch. Do you do that, too?

I also plant marigolds around the base of my tomatoes to help naturally keep bugs away. I think my mom gave me that tip. Anyway, happy tomato season!

tomatoes

I decided to put my tomatoes in whiskey barrels this year, because I read that the leaves are poisonous to dogs. I needed to keep them out of our backyard and away from Leo.

{FIVE} Fruit Fly Trap

This last item on my list is super random, but super helpful if you’re dealing with fruit flies at the moment.

All of the fresh summer fruits and veggies I’ve been picking up at the market (and now growing in my garden) have been attracting some unwanted guests. I get flocks (?) of fruit flies in one spot of my kitchen, so I started filling a small measuring cup with apple cider vinegar and a drop of dish soap (to help the flies stick to the vinegar). It works like magic!

fly trap

This darling cup is from the Pioneer Woman set. If you look closely, you can see a fruit fly already landed. I literally just poured this and it’s already working. Bam.

Thanks so much for stopping by and seeing what we’ve been up to in the Andersen house. We leave for our big trip to South Dakota next weekend, so you might see me pinning lots of things to my new Road Trip Tips board. All ideas are welcomed, so let me know your must-do, must-have road trip items!

XoXo,

Kate

CupFiveonfriday

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Friday Wrap: Fired up for 4th of July

{These are actually plates from Khols! Cute, right?!}

{This is actually a plate from Khols! Cute, right?!}

Happy Friday!! And how is it 4th of July weekend already? I have been looking forward to this date for quite some time, and it arrived in a flash. Why the excitement – other than my love for sparklers? We have some dear friends traveling up from Houston to visit us. In fact, they’re on their way now! Yay!

You know what that means, though? I’ve been in power mode this week getting things ready for our guests. I’ve been organizing and freshening up decorations around the house. (Nothing like a visit from friends to get me fired up to do these much-needed tasks.)

Since it’s 4th of July weekend (and the Summer Olympics begin next month), I decided to invest in a few patriotic items. I can keep them out all summer. First, we got our flag situation figured out. Now we can fly Old Glory any time. Well, during daylight hours. (If you need tips on flag etiquette, I posted this a few weeks ago.)

We’ve also been busy with these little projects. Check ’em out and maybe give them a spin for yourself!

{ONE) A Front Door Salute

4th of July front door

I saw something similar to this online. I decided to give it my own spin with a galvanized holder. I also like how the white hydrangeas look against our dark door.

This is a wider angle that shows our pinwheels in the urns. I also updated our pillow on the right there.

This is a wider shot that shows our pinwheels in the urns. I also updated our pillow on the right there.

Side note: I’ve been toying with the idea of painting our door a different color. I might have to poll you all soon. For now it’s just a classic black. Hmm. More on that later.

{TWO} Patriotic Blooms

IMG_1331

This is a project my girls did all by themselves. I was so proud of them. They sat in the garage together and chatted and painted until they appeared with these amazing vases. Girls after my own heart.

They saw the idea on Pinterest. (Yes, my 10 yr. olds love Pinterest. They also share my account, so if you ever see an overpopulation of puppies and nail art in my feed, that’s probably a clue they’re online.) Anyway, I love how their creations turned out.

We filled the vases with Shasta daisies from our garden. I also tucked in a few sprigs of Lamb’s Ear. Oh, and we used a red bandana to help pull it all together on our outdoor table. <3

{THREE} Red, White & Blue Hues

Clara's 4th of July nails

These are Clara’s cute nails.

Okay, so as I hinted a moment ago, nail art is becoming a thing in our house. Avery & Clara weren’t totally into it* until they started seeing cute designs on Pinterest. They saw a picture that had red and blue nails with white polka dots, so we pulled our our fancy nail art kit and did them ourselves. Look at those darling digits. 😉

*I think nail polish felt like makeup at first. The girls aren’t into that kind of thing, yet, so it felt funny on their fingers. Once they looked at it as an art project, it completely changed their mind. Isn’t that funny?

{FOUR} 4th-inspired Food

You can’t have a 4th of July spread without something looking like a flag. Am I right? Especially with so many creative ideas out there. The one above was my favorite, because it seems fairly healthy. I thought the yogurt covered pretzels were a smart way to add white stripes.

I also bought a star-shaped cookie cutter to make a few of these numbers…

{source}

{source} This is simply star-shaped watermelon with blueberries and strawberries. I think it would be delicious with this dip!

hot dogs with cheese

{source} This would make a great lunch. I love the star-spangled cheese. Lol!

star shaped hand pies

{source} I’ve never made hand pies before, so I’m a little intimidated by this recipe. Here goes nothing!

I haven’t assembled any of these recipes just yet. I have all of the ingredients ready and waiting. I can’t wait to see how they turn out. I promise to post pics on Instagram! Follow me @KateJAndersen so I can follow back and say “hi!”

{FIVE} Star-Spangled Bangles

FullSizeRender

Our friends who are visiting us this weekend have a five-year old daughter. Avery & Clara can’t wait to pretend she’s their little sister for a few days. They’ve been planning all kinds of fun activities to do with her. This is one of our favorite ideas above.

It’s a bracelet made with blue beads and straws that are cut into short pieces. The bracelet (on the right) is our prototype. We used ribbon (instead of embroidery thread or string) so it was easy to tie. I think it also looks cuter once it’s finished.

What are you up to this weekend? Will you be celebrating with friends? Whatever is on your agenda, I hope it includes sparklers at some point!!

-Kate

CupFiveonfriday

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