Hey guys! It’s finally summer!
Ok, not really. I think it’s 50 degrees outside today and we had frost warnings this morning.
Did I mention I live in Indiana? Sometimes we even have snow in May!
Enough about the weather, though. How about we get to something more fun, like my May Ipsy bag! This one is pretty awesome, and I can’t wait to actually try a couple of the products in there. You can see what I got in the video below. Spoiler alert: that lip treatment is delightful.
I feel like I should take a moment here to clarify that while I did, in fact, dance on a bar at Coyote Ugly, I remained fully clothed. It was loads of fun, but I probably wouldn’t do it again…I’m too much of an old lady to be dancing on anything more elevated than the, uh, floor.
I got a free shirt, though! And we all know I’m a sucker for a free shirt.
Do you have an Ipsy subscription? What did you get? I neeeed to know.
If you don’t yet have a subscription, click here to sign up. It’s 10.00 a month, and you’ll take a quiz to make sure your items are customized to your taste.
**Disclosure** This is not a sponsored post or video, I pay for my Ipsy subscription with my own money. The link above is my referral link, and I do get points if someone uses it to sign up.**
My child loves to watch Grav3YardGirl‘s Does This Thing Really Work? videos on YouTube. When he’s feeling sleepy or in need of a cuddle, he’ll climb into my lap and ask, “Mommy, can we watch a Bunny video?”
I was skeptical, even after watching Bunny’s review…But this thing is actually pretty great! We spent an hour or so blowing cherry bubbles all over the back yard, and I managed to catch a few…they actually DO taste just like cherry! O’s strategy was to stick his face right in front of the machine, and he caught a lot of bubbles, but he didn’t like getting the bubble solution all over his face.
You get two packets of bubble solution with the machine (cherry and grape), and refills are available in packs of three flavors. The packet of cherry lasted a lot longer than I thought it would, and we even got a little more mileage out of it by pouring a little water in at the end.
I’m not sure if you’re supposed to do that. Maybe don’t be like me.
The machine takes 4 AA batteries and you’ll need a little screwdriver to get the back panel off. I picked up an eyeglass repair kit that’s super handy for these things.
I love this thing. As long as it holds up, I can see it providing hours of summer fun for my boy. In fact, I may not have to make a dessert for the rest of the summer. Dinner’s over? Go outside and play with your bubble machine!
Just don’t drink the bubble solution…I’m pretty sure it says specifically not to on the box.
**Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. I purchased this machine and refill pack with my own money. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.**
We got up early on Saturday morning and made the journey to the Big City for PBS Kids in the Park. My boy LOVES PBS shows like SuperWhy, Dinosaur Train, Daniel Tiger, and Curious George. He was beyond excited to meet the characters he watches, and he even got to have a snack and do a fun craft with Curious George. As we walked around Military Park, he would point at the different characters and yell, “HI ALPHA PIG!” and “I LOVE WORD GIRL!”
He was slightly disappointed that Word Girl didn’t bring Captain Huggy Face, though.
After we’d seen all there was to see at the PBS Kids event, we took a stroll down the canal. Indy is really a beautiful city, and in the summer I highly recommend taking a day to just walk around aimlessly.
O even got to feed some ducks after a nice boy gave him some cereal.
Our walk took us closer to the circle, and we remembered that Pride was also going on that day…So we decided to check it out. O was asleep in his stroller, so we took our time checking everything out. We even bought a bumper sticker!
Because it was so hot, and also because some big dummy (ahem, me) forgot to put sunscreen on, we headed to Circle Center mall because, air conditioning. O was still sound asleep, so we took advantage of the massage chairs that were sitting in the lobby. Two minutes for a dollar sounds like a hell of a bargain when you’ve been walking all day.
I also ended up with some cool new shoes.
Once O was awake, we grabbed dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery and stopped for ice cream in a shop on Monument Circle. By the time we started making our way back to the van, it was close to 8:00.
This also happened, and now I wish I had been holding my phone the entire time. I’m guessing we actually walked close to ten miles altogether.
On Sunday, we ventured over to our town’s Strawberry Festival for lunch. Our first stop was to visit The BF’s grandparents, who always display their pedal tractors. While O was playing with the tractors, I decided to rest my weary legs by having a seat in his stroller. I was unable to talk The BF into pushing me around. For lunch, I had a bison burger and cheese fries topped with bison chili. Delicious! The BF had some ribs, and we both shared with O. Even though I didn’t really want to.
After lunch, we stopped at our friend’s photo booth before heading home. O thought it was great fun to wear the helmet and watch himself on the screen.
I capped off the weekend by finishing a book and having a glass of wine… Well, I tried to drink a glass of wine, but I managed to nod off before I even drank half of it.
Hashtag, old people problems.
My mom used to make the best key lime pie… It was the perfect combination of sweet and tart, with a beautiful, fluffy, toasted meringue on top.
Good lawd, I miss that pie.
She hasn’t made it in ages…She did make me a key lime pie for my birthday a couple of years ago, but it wasn’t the pie. It was still delicious, but with no meringue it just wasn’t the same.
So recently I was wishing for something a little sweet, but a little tart, and I had key lime on the brain after having a key lime truffle from our new candy store.
The problem was, I wanted something super easy that didn’t involve seperating eggs. I wanted a decent, but lazy, approximation of key lime pie.
I found it while aimlessly scrolling through Pinterest one day. The recipe was from Weight Watchers, I think, and it was a bunch of fat-free this and sugar-free that. Yuck.
I made my own version, and it turned out really well. It took me no time to put together, and cleanup was minimal.
Look, it isn’t real key lime pie, but it works in a pinch.
Cheater Key Lime Pie
1 box lime gelatin
1/4 cup boiling water
2 single-serve containers key lime Greek yogurt
1 8 ounce package Cool Whip
1 graham cracker pie crust
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water and let cool a bit. Stir in yogurt, then Cool Whip. Pour into pie crust, cover, and refrigerate until ready to eat. I think mine was in the fridge for a couple of hours and it was pretty good, but it was even better when I cut into it this morning to get a picture. I know because I, uh, accidentally got some on my finger and I had to taste it.
The sacrifices I make, people.
This might be the perfect summer treat. Sweet, but not heavy…I’m already thinking of ways to fancy it up so I don’t feel like such a slouch next time I make it.
Now I think I’ll go accidentally eat the rest of that slice.
Thursday evening, I made two pies… I had planned to only make one, a coconut cream pie for The BF’s grandpa (his birthday was Saturday), but the BF wandered in and asked if he got a pie. I had everything to make a chocolate pie, so I went ahead and made it because I’m such a
The BF was super pleased with his pie. Friday evening we took the coconut pie to Grandpa, and he said he had no plans to share it with anyone. He did offer a slice to The BF.
“No thanks, I don’t really care for coconut.”
“I know!” was Grandpa’s reply, and then he cracked up.
I was super relieved that he liked it so much, because I’d never made that kind of pie before…And I did it completely from scratch, from making the graham cracker crust, to separating five eggs for the custard, to the whipped cream, to even toasting the coconut. Also, who knew real, homemade whipped cream was so amazing? I may be addicted.
Saturday morning, MIL and I took O to the local farmer’s market. We found tons of awesome fresh produce and lots of people to chat with. I ended up with an eggplant, some cute yellow pattypan squash, Concord grape jelly, and creamed honey. MIL stopped to buy a green pepper and the nicest guy handed O a cute little pumpkin. He promptly threw it to the ground, of course, but luckily the man just laughed.
We stopped for lunch at my favorite Chinese place. I ordered cashew chicken and MIL had General’s chicken…we both got the hot and sour soup because it’s the best you’ll ever have. O was happy to eat everything we shared with him, and he wasn’t phased at all by the spice in the soup or the General’s chicken…He’s going to like it spicy like his mama, I think, and I couldn’t be more proud.
O took a nice, long nap once we got home, and when he woke up we headed to the State Fair. O had his first ever ear of Indiana State Fair roasted corn on the cob, and he loved it so much that he didn’t want to give up the empty cob. He also split a blue raspberry shaved ice with his daddy, and he loved the pieces of breaded tenderloin I shared with him.
After we filled our bellies, we wandered around checking things out. I rode an elephant ( her name was Libby), and we bought a jar of maple cream at the pioneer village.
We made sure to check out some animals, and the boy found a new friend in a nice little goat. The BF and I also found coffee mugs that I really should have bought.
Once it got dark, we headed to the midway. O rode a couple of rides with Daddy (mama would barf). I think O loved the excitement, because there was a lot of pointing and clapping and waving and, “See? SEE?!”
We all had a blast and slept extremely well when we got home.
Sunday, I did some cleaning and The BF worked in his office while O ran around in an outfit he picked himself.
That afternoon, my SIL came over with my sweet niece and the kids chased each other through the house. There was a lot of squealing and giggling and THUMPTHUMPTHUMPing. The boy had so much fun that he slept until almost 9:30 this morning.
It was my favorite kind of weekend, full of family time, good food, and a lot of laughter.
If you consult Wikipedia, you will learn that Panzanella is basically tomato and bread salad, lightly dressed with olive oil and vinegar. If that sounds weird to you, well…It does sound a bit weird, but I assure you, it’s actually quite delicious!
This is a great way to use up any stale bread (the crustier, the better) you have. I wanted to make this for dinner Friday night, but because my kid’s two favorite lunches are both sandwiches (peanut butter and grilled cheese), bread doesn’t generally have the chance to get stale around here.
I ended up using some store-bought croutons and they worked perfectly well for this. You could also make your own, but I was feeling lazy. Plus, a big bag of croutons was cheaper than a loaf of French bread, and I love a good bargain.
If you are lucky enough to have ripe tomatoes in your garden, use them in this recipe!
And share them with me?
Seriously, this recipe is so simple that the freshness of the ingredients will really matter. I ended up using Romas from the grocery store and they were a bit bland.
BUT. This is still a great way to eat tomatoes when you’re tired of the same ol’ thing. My sweet boy loved it (though he mostly ate just the tomato chunks and bread), but The BF didn’t eat much of it… His loss, really.
So here’s what you need to make my version of Panzanella:
For the salad:
Tomatoes (any variety that looks best, really…I used 6 Romas) cut into big, but bite sized, chunks
A handful of Basil leaves (or more if you love Basil). Chiffonade it up!
Thinly sliced red onion (as much or as little as you like)
About 1 to 1 1/2 cups croutons
Optional: arugula/baby spinach mix
For the dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 small cloves garlic, finely minced or smashed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Toss all salad ingredients together in a big bowl (preferably one with a lid). In a seperate container, combine dressing ingredients and shake the daylights out of it. You’ll want to make sure the lid is on tight, otherwise you’ll be cleaning dressing splatters up for a while…
Or so I hear…
Pour dressing over the salad, give it another toss, then stick it in the fridge for a while. I think mine was in there for a couple of hours before dinner. You want the croutons to soak up the dressing, so it needs time for everything to just hang out and mingle.
It’s a perfect summer treat just the way it is, but you could also add some Parmesan or feta cheese. I wanted to add feta, but I forgot to buy some. SO SAD.
Go to your garden (or your farmer’s market, or your grocery store, or steal from your neighbor’s garden…wait, no, don’t do that), gather your ‘maters, and make this salad. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
I think I’ve mentioned before that I get really excited about giving presents… I look forward to that more than I do my own birthday. It’s really important for me to pick something that is perfect for the recipient…And I experience a fair amount of anxiety while trying to come up with something.
A few months ago, I was driving home from town when our local classic rock station aired a commercial for upcoming summer concerts. I turned it up, hoping to catch the date of the Dave show. Instead, I heard that Steve Miller and Journey were coming to town on June 28th, two days after The BF’s birthday. I couldn’t believe my incredible luck…There would be no attempts to drag ideas out of him this year (he is the hardest person to buy for), no stress at all. His present practically fell into my lap. Hallelujah!
So two days later, I’m still super proud of myself. I think that may have been the best gift I’ve ever given someone.
Before the show, we stopped at The Copper Still for dinner…where we had the best fried pickles I’ve ever eaten (the jalapeño ranch was pretty legit, too). The BF ordered a pulled pork sandwich, while I had a burger… The Hangover, with smoked bacon, bleu cheese, and a fried egg. It was amazing.
I had planned on stopping at my friend’s bakery after dinner, but we were both too stuffed to even eat a cupcake. We headed for the concert, and we got there with plenty of time to rent chairs, find a spot, and relax.
I joked that we should take selfies, and then decided to actually try to get some pics… And I laughed the whole time because I tend to be fairly horrible at selfies.
I was feeling pretty wild and crazy, so I had one of these. Wheeeeeeeee!
We had so much fun before the show even started, just watching the crowd. We spotted some awesome mullets, though there were a lot fewer than I expected.
Steve Miller was great, but I missed a couple of his good songs because I was standing in line for the bathroom. I was behind a mother and daughter, and they’d each had a fair amount of alcohol. One would exclaim, “LET’S TAKE A SELFIE!” and then they’d stumble and bounce off of one another until they managed to get a blurry pic that contained at least parts of both of them. This went on for a good 15 minutes, and I could see her screen so I know I’m in a few of them. I totally made faces, because if I’m going to unintentionally photobomb someone I might as well have fun doing it. The cherry on top of that whole experience was when the Terrifically Tipsy Two made it to the front of the line and the daughter declared, “I’m gonna take a selfie in the porta-pot!” She then climbed in and began her quest for the perfect porta-pot selfie while trying to close the door and stay on her feet. A part of me secretly hoped that she’d fall in, because I was missing a song I wanted to hear to watch her shenanigans. I had my phone ready, just in case, but she eventually got the door shut and apparently managed to take the selfie and pee without falling in. Bummer.
By the way…is this a thing? Have we reached such a societal low that people think it’s appropriate (and even cute) to take photos of themselves in porta potties?! Do these people know what happens in those? Gross.
Anyway, once I managed to pee (without taking a selfie, because I have more than two functioning brain cells) I booked it back to our spot. On the way, two gals stopped me to ask where I got my dress, one guy “liked what I had going on”, and another guy pointed and said, “she works out!” I yelled back, “Yes I do!” and continued speed walking, which can be hard to do in a maxi dress. I had to tuck part of my skirt into my belt to keep from wiping out on the sidewalk. I made it back just in time to hear Steve Miller thank the crowd and tell us to be kind to Mother Earth or some such thing. It figures.
During the break, the guy next to us offered to take our picture. The BF didn’t even attempt to give me bunny ears… I think that’s a first!
So if Steve Miller was great, Journey was AMAZING. I was afraid that we’d be treated to a bunch of aging rockers shuffling around the stage with a random young Asian guy thrown in, but that was most certainly not the case. There’s a reason these guys have been around for so long. Neither The BF nor I had ever seen Journey live, and I think we were both pretty shocked at just how awesome the show was.
Here’s a link to a video I took of an awesome guitar solo… I didn’t think to get my phone out until halfway through, but you’ll get the idea. I had goosebumps the whole time.
On the way home, we stopped at White Castle (duh) and The BF thoroughly enjoyed his sliders while I tried the Sriracha chicken and jalapeño cheese fries. Both options could have been spicier, but they were still pretty good.
Of course, by the time we got home we barely had the energy to drag our old asses up the stairs to bed. We got to sleep in a little on Sunday, and after picking up our sweet boy, the BF left to paint a bathroom.
I’m so glad I got to give that guy such an awesome birthday present, because he really deserved a fun night out. Now the only problem is…
What on Earth am I going to do for him next year?!