Saturday, June 27, 2015

80+ Summer Boredom Fighting Activities To Break That Summer Slump

This post is sponsored by All Free Clear but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.   

 Summer is full swing over here at the Hoff house. We've had an interesting one, with cancelled trips, bbq's, swim meets among other activities.  Pneumonia hit our house and has made these last few weeks pretty miserable. My boys are stir crazy! How about your kiddos? I decided something needed to be done, so we made a list of 80+ activities to beat the summer blues.
Activities to do in the summer time. 80+ ideas to beat the summer boredom slump! #Free2Be #laundry #ad

80+ Activities To Do In The Summertime

1 Fly a kite
2 Swim in a lake
3 Play checkers or chess
4 Slide on a slip and slide
5 Make Kool- Aid Popsicles
6 Make pudding pops
7 Go canoeing
8 Go for a hike in the woods
9 Identify birds
10 Go to the beach
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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Star Surprise Patriotic Bundt Cake

Red White Blue Blog Hop for patriotic recipes, crafts, decor and other Fourth of July ideas.

Yay! I love this time of the year. The patriotic parties, flags flying, fireworks--that all feels like summer to me! I'm excited to be participating in the Red White & Blue Blog Hop hosted by the fabulous Abbey over at The Cards We Drew. You will love all the fun recipes, decor ideas and patriotic crafts that over 80++ talented bloggers put together to celebrate Independence Day in style!    Want to see what my creation was? 

Patriotic Bundt Cake with Stars to celebrate Fourth of July or Memorial Day.

Star surprise in cake. Perfect for patriotic parties, commissionings, military retirement, or other Red White and Blue themed events.

Being a military wife, I've made a patriotic cake a time or two! My biggest tip--mini flags. Nothing tops a cake with so much umph, and not a lot of work! Haha. This time I decided to give the inside the special treatment. I was inspired by a recipe I discovered in a British magazine a few months back. The star was used in a Christmas cake (you can see the original recipe here). I thought how cool it would look over in America for the Fourth of July. 
     With a few adaptations, I got this delightfully colorful patriotic bundt cake!
Mini Flag Picks make easy patriotic cake toppers.

If you are a longtime reader, you know I like easy. So the cake recipe---it doesn't get any easier. I used a box mix. Well, 2 box mixes. In addition to the 2 white cake mixes, you will need: red & blue food coloring, a star shaped cookie cutter, your favorite white icing, and mini flag picks. 

1. Step one. Mix the white cake mix according to package directions. Add food coloring until a nice vibrant blue is reached. Bake in a bundt pan according to directions.

2. Allow cake to cool. Once it is cooled, slice the cake into pieces, that are the same depth as your cookie cutter. Separate your pieces so they are no longer touching each other and freeze for several hours. 

3. Keeping your pieces in order, cut a star out of each slice using your cookie cutter. Save remaining cake pieces for a tasty snack or cake balls.

4. Mix the white cake mix according to package directions. Add food coloring until a nice vibrant red is reached. Prep your bundt pan as before, and pour half the mixture evenly in the pan. Add the stars in the order they were cut. Allow them to stand up straight and align with the next star. Once your ring of stars are all arranged, top very gently with remaining batter. Bake according to the directions.

5. Allow cake to cool. Ice with your favorite white icing and decorate with mini flag picks.

The best part is cutting in to see the surprise!!!!!!

Red White and Blue Cake for Patriotic events. Hidden Star in Bundt cake is a real crowd pleaser!
Looking for more Patriotic ideas? We've got ya covered! Be sure to see what all the wonderful bloggers created for our Red, White & Blue Blog Hop!

Follow The Cards We Drew's board Three Cheers for the Red White and Blue ULTIMATE Round Up of Patriotic Ideas from Top Bloggers! on Pinterest.

Don't forget to grab your FREE PRINTABLE!

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Monday, June 1, 2015

School's Out Party! Share A Coke With Friends!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareItForward #CollectiveBias

Share a Coke with a Superstar Friend!

Share a Coke with a friend. Everyone loves a basket full of Coke!

School's out for the summer here! YAY! I can't tell you how excited I am! Okay, to be honest, my 4 boys are probably more excited than I am. But I really truly am happy for them, especially my oldest son. Freshman year is hard y'all. We are free of major projects, massive papers, and AP testing for the next 3 months! We decided to throw a "Kick Off The Summer Party" with some good friends. What better way to share joy than with Coca-Cola? Nothing says easy party like a basket full of Coke! My kiddos loved the fun nicknames on the cans. There is a name for everyone! This party is so easy to throw. I provided the Coca-Cola beverages, bubbles, footballs, Nerf guns, and boomerangs. That was all! The kids played their little hearts out. 
Nickname Coca-Cola classic cans.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Turkey Bacon Club Wrap featuring Hidden Valley Ranch Avocado Dressing

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WhatsYourRanch #CollectiveBias

Turkey Bacon Avocado Ranch Sandwich Wrap! 

Looking to get out of a sandwich rut? Try this delicious Turkey Bacon Club Wrap Featuring Hidden Valley Ranch Avocado Dressing! #WhatsYourRanch #collectivebias #sandwich #wraps #lunch #ad

        The dog days of summer are upon us! I don’t know about you, but I loathe cooking in the Texas heat. I’m all about fixing fast meals that are hearty enough for lunch or dinner, and that the picky kiddos will eat. We eat a lot of sandwiches during the summer, and they get old fast. My kiddos love to mix it up a bit with wraps. I was so excited when I heard about the new flavors that Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing has. They had me at “Ranch Avocado”. I mean really— ranch  — avocado. WIN WIN!!!! This was such a quick meal to whip up, and I know you will love the flavor, the lack of prep work, and not having to do a ton of dishes! This hearty wrap can be made with all your favorite fixin’s. These happen to be my favorite, but feel free to mix it up. I love to use shaved deli meat, fresh spinach, a ripe tomato, and crisp bacon. Topped with this dressing, it tastes like something from a gourmet sandwich shop! Make a batch in the morning and throw them in the picnic basket for an alfresco lunch. This Turkey Bacon Club Wrap is sure to become a new favorite. Along with the Hidden Valley Ranch Avocado Dressing. You’ll want to use it in the traditional ways or for jazzing up any sandwich. The other flavors are just as great! Craving that Turkey Bacon Club Wrap? Well, let’s get started!

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

How to make Salsa : Restaurant Style Roasted Tomato Salsa

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HuntsFreshTwists #CollectiveBias
Salsa, Canned tomatoes, easy salsa receipe, Roasted tomato salsa, Homemade tomato recipes

Homemade Fire Roasted Salsa, easy salsa recipe, how to make salsa with canned tomatos, homemade salsa

    Our family eats salsa by the gallon. We live in Texas, remember?!!! When you eat salsa at breakfast, lunch and dinner, you need a really good homemade salsa recipe. I think an easy salsa recipe should be in every chef’s repertoire. The beautiful thing about salsa, is how many different flavors and types that are out there! My favorite is a roasted tomato salsa, which you can often find at a Mexican restaurant. Although I love to use on the vine tomatoes, the reality is that I have a really hard time finding ripe ones to make salsa, especially year round. My solution? Hunts Diced Tomatoes. For real! And today, my friends, I’m going to teach you my tricks on how to make salsa using canned tomatoes! Now there is no excuse, you will always have salsa on hand to top your eggs in the morning, to throw on a quick bed of greens with chicken for lunch, and for the next time the neighbors pop in for a quick chat. Chips and Salsa are always the hit of the party. Now you only concern is if you have enough chips in the pantry!

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