4th Of July Party Pleasers ANYONE Can Make

Are you going to a Fourth of July party and have no idea what to bring? Are you hopeless in the kitchen? Want to look like an overachiever, when you are far from one? Keep reading, below are a few of my favorite SUPER EASY to make, 4th of July party pleasers, decorations, drinks and everything in between to set the party in motion! 


Red, White and BLEU sliders!
I love bleu cheese. love it!

OR! Make my new favorite party treat, Bacon Cheese Burger Meatballs!  Color the Mayo blue with a few drops of blue food coloring.

Don't forget the RED, WHITE And BLUE Hot Dogs! 
Add blue food coloring to mustard to make
Red (ketchup), White (Mayo) and Blue (Mustard) Hotdogs! 

For the kids... Firework Dogs!


First of all, this BATTER HACK will change the baking game for you...

Add different color batter to piping bags to make endless treat possibilities. Any colors, anytime! Apply same pressure when squeezing for precise designs and mixing.

I saw this Firecracker Cake Recipe this morning on the News. No Doubt the kids will go MENTAL for these!  Easy enough too. Below is the She Knows, Tutorial. The News used chopsticks to make a hole in the center for the poprocks, that seems MUCH easier than cutting out little circles.

Simple, Easy, Healthy, American Flag pretzel and fruit party tray

This Independence day ice cream sandwich is easy beyond easy. The hard part will be keeping the kids from eating these treats while making them. It's just store bought ice cream sandwiches rolled in red, white and blue store bought sprinkles. Done. 
so easy!
This fruit flag only works when served immediately. The bananas go brown. Serve for brunch if anything. Outside will not work for this one.

I make watermelon, blueberry and cheese dish every year. Except, in a bowl. I mix watermelon, feta, and blueberries. Even the kids like it! 
If you make the flag on a plate, kick this up a nothch and try two types of cheeses,
and strawberries as the middle red stripe!

Making watermelon star cutouts is super fun for the kids to help with, and who cares how much they snack in the process! And when they finish making stars, use the leftover watermelon pulp to make adult beverages or popsicles. Use Watermelon Half for punch bowl and Freeze a few stars for fun way to keep the punch cold.

This American Flag Cupcake is a great way to make cupcakes festive and semi healthy. Well, there's fruit... 
Yes, Please.

Star Shaped Iced Shortbread Cookies with Strawberries and blueberries is YUM YUM YUM.  A girlfriend made this Festive Shortbread dessert for my party last year. SO GOOD. She used circle shortbread cookies, cream cheese frosting and sliced strawberries and blueberries. It wasn't all star-fancy but the plate was still beautiful and tasted yummy! Go that route if all this star stuff overwhelms you.

#DIY Crafts

The Concrete Cottage Spray Paint Lawn Stars using Construction Marking Paint is genius for temporary fun without destroying the grass! 
LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!  And, will def be giving it a try this year.

This is great to have if you have an annual party. Imagine twenty years from now, when the kids show up with their own kids! 

Red, white and Blue Rice tea lights!  Find citronella tea lights too!

The more I stare at this, the more I think I can do it. What do you think? Super easy, or super opportunity for a Pinterest "nailed It" moment?

For more fun ideas, check out my 4th of July Pinterest Board! 


Red White And Blue SHOTS!

Red White And Blue SANGRIA!!!

For many, many more super awesome ideas, check out my July 4th Independence Day Pinterest board.

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Stop Temper Tantrums Instantly (Works For All Ages!)

I recently came across an article about, "This Dad's "Silly" Potato Trick Miraculously Stopped a Toddler Temper Tantrum."  I thought to myself, Please, tell me how to stop a todder temper tantrum; I have a son and husband driving me crazy over here!

It turns out, a crazed dad, after a day of his toddler son being nutzo,told his son to, "Stop being so salty." The dad said, "that's when it clicked." He grabbed a potato (Yes, a real one) and handed it to his son, and told him he had to hold it until his mood changed.

Then the dad says, on reddit:

"He thought it was so silly and his mood changed," he wrote. "At first he was confused and wanted to put it down, but I told him that he will absolutely under no circumstances put the potato down until he's in a better mood to compose himself." His toddler calmed down and the world was spared. 


Kudos to that dad for finding a trick that works on his son. I, however, wouldn't even fathom giving that a try. If I handed my son a potato during a temper tantrum, he would throw it. Hard. 

No friggin doubt. 

If, like me, you wouldn't dare give your child a weapon during a temper tantrum, I have another trick and it's:

  • FREE 
  • Guranteed to change the mood instantly 
  • Works on just about anyone having a temper tantrum, freaking out, throwing a fit, having a bad day... 
  • The best part, is you will enjoy it emensely, too. 

During my son's toddler years, I must've tried a million different ways to stop the temper tantrums. I tried to ignore him. I tried to hold him. I tried to rationalize with him. Which is so stupid since you can't rationalize with the irrationale. 

Then, by accident, I found the answer. 

My darling child was throwing an epic temper tantrum. He wanted ice cream, before lunch. Rather than give his rediculous whinning and pissing-on a second of my time, I got out my phone to bide my time until he wore himself out protesting my evil mean mom ways. 

And that's when it's clicked. 

I saw the fart app my five-year-old begged me to downloaded, and opened it. I started pressing the fart sounds and, and told him that was all I could hear and smell coming out of his mouth. 

Withing seconds, my once screaming, whining and flailing toddler was all laughs and smiles. And so was I!

That fart app has been my saving grace. Every time I need to redirect my son's attention or stop him from throwing a tantrum, I just bust out my fart app and start smashing the soundboard.

There's even Apple Watch fart apps!

Within seconds, he's laughing and completely forget what he was pissed off about in the first place.  The fart app NEVER fails me. It's also helped my kid relaize I'm not playing into the Bullshit behavior. He wants to talk, he can talk. He wants to throw a fit, I'll throw a fart.

If you want to stop your child, friend, partner, co-worker, mom or dad from being annoying, download the fart app and use it against them. It'll work everytime, becuse I don't care who you are, farts are funny.  

BTW: There bunches of FREE Fart Apps available. No need to spend a penny, the free ones do the trick!

You're welcome. 


Respectful Co-Parenting: 5 Things To Know

A friend once told me, "Not even infidelity tests a marriage like being new parents." Not knowing both sides, thankfully, I can only imagine it's true because after becomging parents, I went from having a beautiful, loving, respectful marriage, to one that was riddled with resentment, bickering, tears, and at times, full on yelling. The stress of being new parents, responsible for the most precious little miracle was a lot to handle, for both of us. Then, we did the worst thing possible; stopped communicating. 

Oh, if I could turn back time...

Since I can't turn back time to help my marriage navigate respectful co-parenting, I can, hopefully, help you and your parenting partner through the struggle. The following are my top five tips for respectful co-parenting. 

  1. Communicate 

When I say communicate, screaming and yelling are not going to cut it, ever. Trust me.  No matter how mad or upset you may be, you've got to keep your cool and talk through the issue, otherwise, the issue will never get resolved. 

Communication is key in the early days to understand each other’s ideas and methods for parenting, and learning to calmly and respectfully talk through the differences.

  1. Be Respectful

I’m not sure why this one was so difficult for me since before baby, I had so much respect and admiration for my very strong and talented husband. Then, I had our son.

For some reason, my inner know-it-all Princess bitch took over my ability to listen and be respectful of my husband's parenting methods. I was constantly critiquing everything he did. Even basic stuff like, holding, handling, changing, feeding, swaddling, bathing... I was constantly standing over him.  I was a maniac. I see that now. (Sorry, Baby, I love you!)

Being respectful of each other from the beginning is beyond beneficial to your marital- relationship, co-parenting rhythm and baby's well-being.   

3. Trust Each Other 

This one was so hard for me to grasp. I was so sure NO ONE could care for my baby as well as me, not even his father. I was afraid to leave him alone for too long or trust him to follow my long list of dos and dont's and stick to baby's routine. Oh what an asshole I was. 

I hurt my husband’s feelings so many times by not showing him that I trusted him to do what was best for his son.  Every time I would leave the house or let him do the something, I would give him a huge speech about how and when it should be done. This was so damning to our relationship.  

Have a little faith in each other. It'll make life so much easier.

  1. Take Turns

Taking turns is such a wonderful way for both parents to test out their own parenting methods, and bond with their baby. Ideally, without the other parent standing over them the whole time. Or, really, any of the time.   

My husband and I now take turns with diapers, playtime, bath time and my all time favorite, getting up in the morning.  A friend of mine taught me to take turns getting up with the baby, especially on the weekends. This way both parents get to sleep in one day.  

Taking turns helps engage both parents in daily life, including meals, chores, bedtime, before school care. Plus, sharing responsibilities gives one parent a break and it lets your child(ren) have an equal amout of time with each parent. What's more, NO lopsided resentment can fester! Which, is a HUGE cause of co-parenting fights

  1. Be Patient

You both are new parents. Which, is scary AF. Neither one of you have done this before, so be patient with one another.  Raising a child is so far from easy, it’s scary! Neither one of you knows everything, nor the best way to do everything.  It is essential that a great team be patient with each other, and of course the ever changing needs of the baby.

This One Is For The Dads... Happy Father's Day (You're Welcome)

To the rad dad's (and mom's doing the work of two)  I wish you a very special day filled with love and blessings... and a few laughs of course! To get you started, here are a few Father's Day gems sure to make you smile. Because you of all people know... Dad-ing without a sense of humor is a shitty way to to survive parenting's little up, downs and fuckinghellareyoukiddingmerightnows...
Thanks for being a rad ass dad. We love you! 

And finally... My favorite Father's Day Card...

The Ultimate Guide To A Perfect Father's Day

Remember my fabulous post, Attention Kids and Dads: 10 Things Mom REALLY  Wants For Mother's Day? Naturally, FTD thinks there should be a "10 Things DAD REALLY Wants For Father's Day" post. So, here it is, 10 Things DAD REALLY Wants For Father's Day... according to FTD.

Okay then...here we go again! Catalogues packed into the mail-box advertising drills, grills and garage skills!  YES - “Father’s day” is just around the corner.  The time when manhood is celebrated in all it’s glory. If you’ve popped out a kid or two (or three, or four or more - whatever) you’ve automatically been inducted into the club.  The day once a year where somehow you’ve become worthy of a gift or two, your favorite meal and the possibility of sucking down a relaxing six-pack of beer without being yelled at for not mowing the grass.

Ladies...I know you’re scrabbling about now trying to find the perfect gift that magically summarises how awesome your husband is, has-been and will ever be, BUT I’m gonna tell you what we REALLY want so pay attention!

Firstly! What we DON’T want:

No bloody Groupons for a relaxing massage in a quaint day spa that smells like mint.
NO generic 40 piece tool kits from K-mart
No five-packs of business socks
Absolutely no magazine subscriptions for fishing, golf or recreational boating.

Ok then? Done! That was easy wasn’t it?

Now...follow closely...here are the top ten things in timeline order that will guarantee a magnificent father's day for your lucky man.

  1. Let him sleep in past 6:30am - No cuddling, no TV blaring in the background, no kids bouncing on his head, no whispered reminders that the garbage bin has to go out.  Just peace and bloody quiet!

  2. A MASSIVE bacon n egg breakfast! No cherry tomatoes or sprigs of organic mediterranean parsley.  We want a POUND of crispy bacon, 5 eggs, cheese, a gob of mayonnaise, buttery toast and a shit-load of salt n pepper with a big mug of cheap coffee (just like the ‘ole days!)
  3. Allow him to evacuate the bowels in peace. Keep the kids from banging on the door, don’t be tempted to yell out that his clothes are on the floor next to the laundry bin, NO stomping around outside the toilet door huffing and puffing about the oil spots in the driveway! Give yer man some quality time to ‘snap out a bad-boy’ and finish that candy crush level that he’s been stuck on for 3 months.

  4. Don’t tell him what to wear to aunt Sally's brunch! Seriously, we don’t care in the slightest that blue and green don’t match. What does it matter that he wore the same shirt yesterday? And let the poor bugger wear sandals with socks!!! Geez!
  5. Fend off all calls from relatives (mother, mother-in-law, sisters) who want to ‘wish him a happy fathers day,’ but really want to gossip to YOU about their lazy husband and the oil spots in the driveway and clothes left on the floor near the laundry bin.
  6. Hand him the keys to the car and say “off you go honey”.  He may be slightly disorientated without a ‘request’ to pick up the dry-cleaning, milk or diapers, but the hint of freedom will be all he needs to race off to his store of choice for some quality man-shopping! Don’t discourage the poor bugger when he returns home with a couple of huge Walmart bags full of awesomeness.
  7. Stock the fridge with his favorite beer. AND for the love of God, PLEASE place it in a prominent place where he doesn’t have to rustle through bags of broccoli, quinoa and fruit salad in an oversized container (that, let's be honest here, no-one ever eats...or if they do venture inside the mystery bowl, they just eat the grapes).   
  8. Crack open a nice cold beer and hand it over WITHOUT the standard comment about carbohydrates. Sit him on the couch and load up the original Schwarzenegger version of ‘Conan the Barbarian’. Pump up the barely-used-since-the-kids-came-along 5.1 stereo and listen to him recite EVERY line with a thick Austrian accent.
  9. Have a massive family-friendly all-in juicy dirty barbecue with overcooked sausages, greasy burgers, couple of prawns, crappy potato salad, cheap-ass white buns with seeds, and don’t forget the riotous 80’s music! Leave the ketchup, mayo, macaroni salad and margarine on a table WITH THE LIDS OFF. Under NO circumstances should you even DARE try to sneak an “apricot marinated chicken fillet” or an assortment of fresh vegetables onto that grill!

  10. When the beer has run dry, and the night is winding down, don’t forget to give him a hefty slap on the arse and take a moment to remind yourself why you fell in love with him in the first place! And what ever you do, don't ruin the awesome man-day with nagging that the garbage bin STILL has to go out...there’s STILL oil in the driveway and his clothes aren’t going to pick themselves up.

Happy Fathers Day!

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