Thursday, June 28, 2012
Tonight I went to a free Utah Symphony concert at Valley Regional Park. It was a patriotic program heavy on John Philip Sousa and the like. I basically sat through all of that just to get to the finale which was pretty spectacular! The orchestra played the 1812 Overture complete with real cannons provided by the Wasatch Cannoneers. The piece is definitely stirring because it commemorates Russia's defeat of Napoleon. In my opinion the beginning is absolutely beautiful and it evokes all of my memories of being in Russia. However, the ending is nothing short of amazing, with chimes, a fanfare by the horn section, and, of course, the firing of the cannons! Wow! It was really great to sit on a blanket and enjoy the music under the stars (even though it was a bit hot).
Note: It was a strange day. I had a lot of guys running around my house working on my sprinklers (my back and side yards were completely destroyed by the fire) which always unnerves me. But they were able to find (and fix) the problem that has been plaguing my whole system for years and that makes me happy. Also, I had to get some required shots (five) for my trip to Africa. I really, really do not like needles but it wasn't that bad. We'll see if my arms hurt tomorrow! At least I got to end the day on a good note...
This week my Dad drove to St. George to bring the motor home back to Salt Lake (he stores it for the winter in an RV park in St. George). I decided to hitch a ride with him so I could see a show at Tuacahn Amphitheatre. It was the perfect plan except for the fact that he made me drive most of the way!
Tuacahn is such a beautiful venue with the backdrop of red rocks! I was able to see the show Hairspray which is a lot of fun! Tracy Turnblad is plus-sized girl but all she wants to do is dance on the Corny Collins Show, win the love of heartthrob Link Larkin, and become Miss Hairspray 1962! I absolutely loved the amazing choreography and the big production numbers, especially "Good Morning Baltimore," Mama, I'm A Big Girl Now," and "You Can't Stop The Beat." The sets were very creative and I thought the giant old-fashioned television screens which showed black and white footage of what was happening on the Corny Collins Show were fabulous! During intermission the screens showed actual television commercials from the 1960s! All of the performers were incredible, particularly Joline Mujica as Tracy, Paul C. Vogt as Edna, and Randy Aaron as Seaweed. I thoroughly enjoyed myself at this show, even though it was so blasted hot! I highly recommend a visit to Tuacahn!
Note: This was such a fun road trip! We listened to Paul McCartney the whole way there and back! I made a Paul McCartney CD for Eric because we argue about who is the best Beatle. He has given me three George Harrison CDs so I figured that I better put up or shut up! The only problem is that my Dad saw it and decided that it was his! We sang every single word of every single song at the top of our lungs!
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
I've seen this idea all over the place and I thought I would give it a try.
The red, white, and blue layers are created by the different amounts of sugar in the drinks. The higher the sugar content the heavier it is so you can literally use any combination of drinks that you want. Read the labels on the bottles when you are in the grocery store to see how many grams of sugar are in each drink.
I used Welch's Chillers Fruit Punch which has 30 grams of sugar for my bottom layer. I used Gatorade G2 Blue Chill which has 21 grams of sugar for the middle layer. I used Sprite Zero for the top layer because it has no sugar.
Fill each glass completely with ice. Fill glass about 1/3 full with your red layer. Slowly pour your blue layer against an ice cube to fill the glass 2/3 full. Top off with your clear layer. When I filled the individual glasses I couldn't really differentiate the white and blue layers (but the Sprite makes it taste really good). However, the layers were much more dramatic when I made the punch in a pitcher.
I think the pitcher would look great on a buffet but the layers separate when you pour into individual glasses so you probably get a bigger impact with your guests by giving them their own glass.
It's a toss up for me because I think the pitcher looks really amazing!
Either way it is a really easy way to impress your guests at your 4th of July celebration! Give it a try!
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I found this fun treat here last year and have been waiting for the 4th of July to try it out.
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. Pop two bags of natural flavored popcorn in the microwave and try to remove as many unpopped kernals as possible. Place the popcorn in a large bowl. In a medium saucepan combine 1 stick of butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tblsp. corn syrup, 3 tblsp. water, and 1 (3 oz) box of jello. Over medium heat bring mixture to a boil while stirring it for about 3-4 minutes until thick. Pour over the prepared popcorn and stir until well coated. Pour the popcorn onto a cookie sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, stirring once half way through. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, and break into small pieces.
I made two batches using raspberry jello for the red and berry blue jello for the blue. I popped two additional bags of popcorn for the white. Then I layered the popcorn into cello bags and tied with red and blue curling ribbon.
They are all ready to be given to friends and family! Give them a try!
Monday, June 25, 2012
Did you ever make jello shots when you were in college? I have vague recollections of downing a few blue and orange jello shots at a Super Bowl party a few years back! These cute firecrackers are just regular jello shots minus a certain ingredient and I found them here.
To make them you will need:
1 1/3 cups boiling water, divided
1 package (3 oz) Berry Blue Jello
1 package (3 oz) Cherry Jello
1 envelope Knox Unflavored Gelatine
1 cup milk, divided
3 tblsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
maraschino cherries with stems
Add 2/3 cup boiling water to the berry blue jello in a bowl. Stir until the jello dissolves. Spoon about 2 tsp. of the jello into 20 (1 oz) plastic shot glasses and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. Sprinkle the Knox gelatine over 1/4 cup of the milk in a bowl. Bring the remaining milk to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and sugar. Add to the gelatine mixture and stir until it dissolves. Spoon about 2 tsp. of the gelatine mixture into the glasses and refrigerate for ten minutes. Add a maraschino to the top of the gelatine mixture with the stem up and refirgerate for another ten minutes. Add 2/3 cup boiling water to the cherry jello in a bowl. Stir until the jello dissolves. Spoon about 2 tsp. of the jello into the glasses around the maraschino cherries and refirgerate at least 2 hours. I couldn't find any plastic shot glasses so I used some 7 oz. glasses instead and doubled the recipe to get 10 shots.
If you are having an adult 4th of July party and want to add that certain ingredient you can reduce the water. Add 1/2 cup boiling water and 1/4 cup vodka to each of the berry blue and cherry jellos and continue as directed. I think the cherry stems are adorable as the firecracker fuses (except mine are a little crooked). Give these a try!
Note: My red layer was a little frothy when I added it to the glasses so it looks a little strange. It tastes fabulous, though! I have never had much luck with jello! Once I was given the assignment to bring a jello salad to Thanksgiving dinner. My jello mold wasn't sealed properly so I got jello all over my kitchen floor! My family reminds me of this every Thanksgiving!
Saturday, June 23, 2012
It was a full day of merriment with Sean and Tashena yesterday! After the movie we spent the afternoon having a picnic at Copperton Park (which might be my favorite park in the valley). I decided that a picnic would be the perfect time to try out another idea found on Pinterest.
Wrap the inside of a terra cotta pot (I used 4" ones) with tin foil, fill with charcoal briquets, and light the briquets. Let the briquets burn until they become the color of ash. Then everyone can use their own individual fire to roast marshmallows for s'mores. Use a wooden skewer (after soaking for 30 minutes) to hold the marshmallows over the fire.
After roasting your marshmallows you can make s'mores with graham crackers and chocolate bars.
This was so much fun! The kids absolutely loved having their own fires! Give this a try!
Note: Adult supervision is definitely required. I lit the charcoal briquets and I monitored the kids at all times. The terra cotta pots will get very hot so you will want to use oven mitts when handling them. Once the fire burns out let the pots stand for about an hour and then you can remove the tin foil and the ashes and use the pots again.
Friday, June 22, 2012
I had Sean and Tashena for the whole day today! Of course I let them talk me into seeing the movie Brave this morning. I really wanted to see this movie but I always feel a little strange going to a Disney movie without a child so I let them twist my arm! We all really loved it! I cannot even begin to tell you how much I loved it! Merida is a wee lass who rebels against her role as a prim and proper princess so she decides to ask a witch for a spell to change her fate which brings a curse on her family. I loved the Scottish highland scenery! I loved the throwing of the caber! I loved the tartans! I loved the bagpipes! I loved Merida's brothers (the wee devils). It is a wonderful story about loving your family no matter what. Tashena loved it because Merida is an independent girl who takes her fate into her own hands and Sean loved it because of the bears. Definitely take your kids to see this wonderful movie!
Note: Finally the mystery is solved about what men really wear under their kilts!!
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Here are some adorable cupcakes to take to your next BBQ or picnic. I found them here and they were really easy to make (although I clearly have trouble piping frosting in a straight line). Bake and frost some chocolate cupcakes. Sprinkle some orange sugar on the cupcakes right after you frost them (the hot coals). Using a tube of black decorator icing with the round point tip, pipe some straight lines. Place some Hot Tamales on the "grill" and use the decorator icing to create some "grill marks."
There are few things I enjoy more in the summertime than a BBQ so these put a big smile on my face. Give them a try!
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Tonight my Mom, Marilyn, Tashena, and I went to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Murray Park Amphitheater. I absolutely love seeing anything performed outside and this show is always a lot of fun!
Before the show we sat in the park and had a little picnic.
When I say picnic I mean we stopped at Subway on the way there. That's how we roll!
Murray Park is absolutely beautiful and the weather was perfect!
I am a huge fan of community theatre because it is always a little bit quirky. This production is really charming! There are four narrators, which I had never seen done before despite having seen this show about a billion times, and one of them is a colleague of mine! The actor playing Joseph is pretty easy on the eyes and has a great voice. All of the songs are are really well done with great choreography and I loved the costumes, especially during "Benjamin Calypso." During the scene where the brothers sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites they have a real camel!
Tashena had never seen Joseph... before so it was almost as much fun watching her as it was watching the show. She got a big kick out "Song of the King." A splendid time was had by all!
Note: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is such a popular production here in Utah that this is the second time I've seen it in five days. Last Saturday I went with my friend Toni to see our friend Scott play the Pharaoh with another community theatre group!
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
This project is the greatest thing ever! Spending three hours on Pinterest is not always a bad thing!
Buy a set of really inexpensive white Corelle dishes from Walmart.
Write some inspirational quotes directly on the dishes with a Sharpie fine point permanent marker.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake the dishes for 30 minutes and the writing becomes permanent!
I could not be more thrilled with how these turned out! My style is very simple and classic and I have a decided preference for black and white so these are right up my alley.
I think they could be adapted for so many styles and occasions! Give them a try!
Note: My quotes come from an amazing song called "If You Believe" by George Harrison.
Monday, June 18, 2012
"I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as a seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."
- Dawna Markova
Saturday, June 16, 2012
I have only been on summer vacation for two weeks but I have already accumulated some great memories just sitting in my parents' back yard! When the weather gets warm all I want to do is be outside.
Trying to avoid becoming a casualty in the Great Water Balloon War of 2012!
Becoming a casualty in the Great Squirt Gun War of 2012!
Sitting by the fire late into the evening!