Friday, July 10, 2009

Fridays Five Favorite Things: Fourth of July

  1. The Habersham parade: I already described, so I won't belabor the point, but it is precious. This year I added red white and blue pinwheels and patriotic bubbles as a favor for the kids. We had such a great time...
  2. Fireworks: Who doesn't love a good fireworks show! It's amazing how nostalgic they can be. I find no matter how old the person watching them is, their faces light up the same way. It could be a five year old child staying up late enough for the first time to actually see them, or an eighty-five year old veteran who has seen them every year in this very same place and they both have the same look of happiness. My favorite part is when the crowd ooooohs in unison! I just love that!!
  3. Red, white, and blue dessert: My family has made RW&B dessert every year for as long as I can remember. Once I insisted we do it with tapioca, and the result was more coral, cream, and teal dessert, but it tasted yummy. We've tried a lot of different combos over the years from Shoney's strawberry cream pie with blueberries to rice crispie treats with red and blue sprinkles. It's a tradition we haven't been able to experience these last few years because we haven't been together for the 4th for a while, but this year we were and we had to uphold the family tradition! We had blueberries and strawberries with fat free whipped cream. I guess when you're five and crying for tapioca, you don't have to count weight watcher points!! It might not have been our most frivolous dessert, but it sure was great to have everyone together to make it!
  4. Family and friends - This year we were lucky enough to have my family in town for the 4th!! We were so excited for them to visit!! We really had such an amazing weekend together. We also had some other surprise visitors! Our friends Shannah and Andrew and their son Aiden came to spend the fourth here in Beaufort. Its amazing how friends and family can make you feel at home even if you are far away!! And of course, we were so grateful to have our Beaufort friends all together for this special holiday. All of our favorite people in one place at the same time = always a favorite thing!!
  5. PARRIS ISLAND - There is no more humbling place in the world than right here in Beaufort at Parris Island. For those who don't know, Parris Island is where all Marine recruits this side of the Mississippi come to become Marines. I feel so honored to be able to walk on that island and stand in the very place these young people stand. From the Iwo Jima memorial to the parade deck, from the firing range to the Molly Marine statue, I find that every spot on that island makes my eyes well with tears for the pride I feel in our country and the brave men and women who serve it. For them we should celebrate our freedom every day and not just once on the 4th. Marines - they are an amazing group of privileged Americans who I am so proud and humble to see every day. They remind me always how lucky we are that the men and women of the generations that came before us fought for the freedoms we have today.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Trendy Wednesday - Jellies

Wow! Can you believe that of all trends that scream 80s, jellies have made a comeback. I guess designers thought better of shoulder pads and perms. I wanted a pair of jellies soooo badly when I was little. Everyone was wearing them. Jellies and jams - that was quite a combination. Do you remember jams? Those brightly colored long shorts - crazy trend!! My mom gave in and got my sister and me a pair of jams (mine were watermelon pink and teal I think), but she was relentless in her pursuit of boycotting a trend that led to her children wearing plastic shoes. She wouldn't give in for anything! Who knew way back then that I'd have the opportunity to buy myself a pair of plastic shoes! The things is this new and enriched version of the jelly shoe are brightly colored and wonderfully stylish. I love this pair that Calvin Klein put out this summer...

The detail is amazing and that color is fabulous.

Tory Burch has even taken this trend to her Reva line:

Whether its with a cute bathing suit and cover up or a simple sundress, these brightly colored shoes are sure to add a little spice to your summer. Let's just hope we're not back here in the fall discussing how to incorporate layered socks and acid wash jeans back into our wardrobes!

Tasty Tuesdays - Breakfast Muffins

Our neighborhood has the most adorable Fourth of July Parade each year. It starts at 10:00 am and includes a processional of decorated golf carts, festive bicycles, Ben Franklin, and children dresses head to toe in red, white, and blue. As they march around the square to the sounds of patriotic songs blasting from a stereo, they are cheered on by a crowd of people growing in numbers each year. As a finale, our neighborhood firemen pull their truck up to the square, lift the hose as high as the trees, and sprinkle water for the children to run around in. It is like the scene from a movie you'd see in the 1950s. Absolute perfection. We thought it would be fun to have all of our friends and their children over before the parade started for a little pre-parade breakfast. We had a picnic blanket filled with goodies, but these breakfast muffins were a real hit! As a note, we didn't make them with a vanilla bean, we just subbed vanilla extract to taste. To top them off, i added a little American flag. Precious!

10 tbsp Butter melted
1 3/4 c Flour
1 tbsp Baking powder
1 1/4 tsp Cinnamon ground
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 Vanilla bean
2/3 c Sugar
2/3 c Milk room temperature
1 lg Egg room temperature
1 1/4 c Fruit (berries, peaches, apples,etc)
-- mix in's --
3/4 c Blueberries
3/4 c Strawberries, cut into blueberry sized pieces

5 tbsp Butter melted
2/3 c Flour
2/3 c Confectioner's Sugar
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
pinch Salt
Preheat oven to 400. butter a standard muffin tin. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl, whisk to combine.
In a medium bowl, combine butter, vanilla bean scrapings, sugar, milk, and egg: whisk to combine. Fold butter mixture and fruit into flour mixture: use no more than 10 strokes.
For struesel: mix all ingredients in a bowl with fingers until crumbly.
Spoon 1/4 C batter into prepared cups: press 2 T Struesel on top of each. Bake until tops are golden, 15-17 min. Remove from oven: let cool in pan 15-20 min. before transferring to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

PS - Thanks to Mark and all of the other men and women who selflessly serve our great nation. We are forever indebted to your efforts.


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