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It is Kentucky Derby Season!

Who doesn’t love celebrating Kentucky Derby? Between watching the most exciting 2 minutes in sports- the horse race, Mint Juleps, singing of My Old Kentucky Home and those one-of-a-kind hats this is an event not to miss.  If you are getting a late start on setting up for this event or need a last minute outfit idea-no worries, we got you covered!


1st Game- Corn hole

Have some fun games! How about a corn hole game with the game painted like Kentucky Derby jockey silks.





2nd Game- Pin the Tail on the Horse

You can design an oversized horse image and attach it to a large sheet of foam core.







3rd Game- Bingo

This is the perfect game for those wanting to sit inside and watch the pre-race coverage. This pack is a set of 16 cards.  Print them on card stock and use a straight edge and x-acto knife to trim at crop marks.



Balloons- Horse Jumbo Foil Balloon

Who doesn't love balloons? This horse shaped balloon is perfect for this event!





Accessories- a bonafide Kentucky Derby Hat

Kentuckians and fashion enthusiasts alike know that when it comes to Derby attire, it’s all about the hat. Grand and gorgeous, wide-brim or cloche: Derby hats are intended to be bold and beautiful accessories for an elegant sundress or preppy pant suit. For the gentlemen, a well-fitting newsboy cap or fedora will do the trick. 


Drink- Mint Julep

No Kentucky-themed party is complete without sweet, spicy, barrel-aged bourbon. Whether you’re a lucky collector of Pappy Van Winkle or prefer the trusty Maker’s Mark, arm yourself with a few bottles of your favorite brand plus simple syrup, distilled water, and sprigs of mint leaf in order to create the race’s official cocktail - the always-refreshing mint julep.


1st Appetizer- Kentucky Hot Brown Dip

Whether you are celebrating the Run for the Roses with a Kentucky Derby Day party, or just looking for a gooey good new appetizer recipe, take the cheesy goodness and bacon love of the classic Southern sandwich and bake it into this Kentucky Hot Brown Dip.




2nd Appetizer- Tea Sandwiches

Benedictine Tea Sandwiches that are horseshoe-shaped are the perfect bite size appetizer.  They are wrapped with a cucumber and a fun variation on the everyday teatime staple.



Sweet goody- Cupcakes

Red rose cupcakes are the perfect way to incorporate roses into a derby party. 







Entertaining- Silverware

A simple ribbon band can turn your buffet napkins into a Derby Style bow-tie!







Decorations- Run for the Roses Derby Wreath

Your door is guaranteed to place with this festive Run for the Roses Derby Wreath. Since this is made with faux flowers it will last for years and years to come so you don’t have to worry about making one year after year.




We know you will now be ready for your very own Derby party.  We can’t wait to hear how it goes!


Pre-made Smoothie Bags

With the weather warming up smoothies are playing an even bigger role in our meals.  Smoothies are a satisfying way to refuel after working out, a quick breakfast on the go, or a refreshing afternoon pick me up.  Have you ever thought about preparing individual smoothie bags so you don’t have to spend as long prepping the ingredients before you can turn the blender on and get your items blended?  People usually freeze fresh fruit for a smoothie by type and then when they want a smoothie they need to combine all the fruit and goodies together.  By creating your individual smoothie bags ahead of time its not just convenient, but also a time saver for when you’re busy and hungry!

For this post we aren’t reaching in your freezer and pulling out a ready-made smoothie.  Although, boy wouldn’t that be nice! Instead we are helping you make sure you have enough fruit for your smoothie recipes and making sure they are prepared and sored in one convenient bag ahead of time. This will reduce you having to dig through your freezer for your different bags of fruit then trying to find spinach or other items hidden in your fridge all before you can even make your yummy smoothie.

Here are the steps you will need to take to make this work most effectively:

·      Prepare the fruit: Cut the fruit into small chunks, then arrange it in a single layer, without touching, on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

·      Freeze the fruit: Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 4 hours.

·      Prepare your bags: Label each bag with the name of the smoothie you plan to make, like Strawberry-Banana or Tropical Smoothie, and the date you packaged the fruit. You can also label the bag with the additional liquid ingredients you’ll need for your smoothie. For example 1 cup coconut milk + 12 cup Greek yogurt.

·      Fill the bags: Remove the baking sheet from the freezer. Measure out the fruit according to the smoothie recipe, and transfer the appropriate amount of fruit (and greens, if you’re including them) into each bag.

·      Store the individual bags in the freezer: Seal the bags and place them in the freezer. Then, pull them out one by one as you need them and your ready to go!


Keep an eye out for our next post, which highlights some of our favorite smoothies.

Be Kind to Our Earth

Earth Day is right around the corner.  If you are still wondering what you should do this Earth Day, we rounded up a great list thanks to Inhabitat’s Tafline Laylin.  Our list included great reminders that help everyone remember what they love most about our planet. We hope you will join millions of people celebrating Earth Day on April 22nd.  You don’t even have to do something big, but if everyone did one small thing that would better the place we live that would make a huge difference.

1. Take a Hike

There is no better way to get back in touch with the Earth’s rhythms than to actually go outdoors and experience its many wonders. This Earth Day, why not take a hike or go for a bike ride? Maybe even go kayaking? The point is, get outdoors, breathe the air, feel the sun on your cheeks and absorb some vitamin D. Even if you live in the city and don’t have easy access to a lot of green space, you’d be amazed how even spending a short amount of time in an urban park will rejuvenate your soul.

2. Get involved in a community garden

If you have never experienced the magic of rolling up your sleeves and digging up some earth, then now is the perfect opportunity. Gardening is a wonderful way to reflect on how much we depend on the earth for our survival. If you don’t have your own garden or you live in a city, don’t fret. A quick google search should lead you to at least one communal garden or rooftop garden and we’re almost certain they won’t turn down your help. Plus you’ll get to meet new people who love the planet as much as you.

3. Do a Home Energy Audit

Not everyone has their own home, but if you do, nothing tells the planet “I love you” more than a home energy audit. Since most of the world is still powered by fossil fuels, that means your home is too, and if energy is pouring out of it because of poor construction, you are inadvertently releasing unnecessary greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. Don’t feel guilty about it because it’s not your fault, but you can make a difference by calling up a certified auditing company to audit your home. They will tell you exactly what steps you need to take in order to tighten up your energy efficiency, like sealing windows and unplugging appliances.

4. Clean Out your closet and donate to a charity

It may not always be so obvious, but manufacturing new clothing requires both energy and water, and there are many people who don’t have money to buy their own. So this Earth Day, why not clean out your overstuffed closet and then donate those t-shirts and shorts you haven’t worn in years to a local charity. Not only will this make you feel good about lightening your load, but the people who receive your lightly used clothing will so thankful you’ll wonder if it’s Christmas and not Earth Day!

5. Write a letter to your government representative

The original Earth Day was organized by Gaylord Nelson, a US senator from Wisconsin who was eager to mobilize the kind of energy that made the Vietnam-era protests possible in order to demand environmental justice. In the spirit of this history, why not use Earth Day as an excuse to write that letter you’ve been meaning to send to your local government representatives. Although it doesn’t always seem so, every person matters, so whether you are particularly concerned about water issues or fracking, write your letter on April 22, 2012 and make your voice heard.

6. Plant a Tree

It might sound like a bit of a cliché, but planting trees is by far one of the most important gifts we can give back to the planet and to ourselves. Global warming is caused by a buildup of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere (such as carbon dioxide and methane), which traps heat on the planet. But trees have the ability to suck up carbon dioxide, which is why the Amazon and other forests are so important. If every person on the planet plants one tree, that amounts to nearly 7 billion new carbon sponges. You can plant a tree in your own backyard, or join a group.

7. Volunteer for an environmental charity

Earth Day is an excellent day to volunteer. There are countless charities all over the planet that are raising money, cleaning up rivers, teaching classes, and in general engaging in the kind of earth-friendly work that will not only last today, but that will continue throughout the rest of the year. If you’re not sure about where to spend your valuable resources, contact the Earth Day organizers and they will direct you to the most suitable program for you.

8. Watch koyaanisqatsi

Sometimes we get so caught up in the rat race that we fail to take stock of the damage we, collectively, are doing to the planet. It’s times like these that we might need a little creative and there’s no better place to get that than Reggio’s first film in the Qatsi Trilogy- Koyaanisqatsi. Named after a Hopi Indian word that means “life out of balance,” Koyaanisqatsi explores the relationship between technology and the environment in an apocalyptic film that doesn’t look so different from today’s reality. It will give you a serious wakeup call and inspire you to do everything on this list every day of the year.

9. Go vegan or vegetarian for the day

If you’re already a vegetarian or vegan then this might not be for you, but if you eat meat then this is something that you can do that will make a staggering difference. Both raising beef and the pesticides used are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, not to mention meat’s harmful impact on your health. For one day, why not try eating a delicious vegan or vegetarian meal. If you keep an open mind you’ll be surprised how delicious it can be. If you’re not confident about your own cooking, go with a friend to a vegan or vegetarian restaurant in your area. Just for a day. You never know, it might become a habit.

10.  Throw a green party

We forget sometimes that life is something that is worth celebrating. The very fact that we exist is one of the greatest miracles imaginable, so why not use this day as the perfect opportunity to hang out with your favorite green mates. Pull out the biodegradable silverware, or buck up and use your own, brew some organic beer, cook some good wholesome food, and spend time with the ones you love. Being part of a community is one of the most important aspects of eco-conscious living that not only benefits the planet, but you as well.

Get Outside!

As the weather gets nicer I always find myself wanting to get outside more and more and enjoy the beautiful weather.  The hard part is finding the time to still get everything you need to do.  These 8 tips below are the perfect solution to help you be productive to get your tasks done quickly and still incorporate the outdoors into your daily routine.

1. Put on outdoor clothes the moment you come home from work.

For most of us, work clothes are indoor clothes- you wouldn’t want to garden or play in a tie or skirt or dress shoes.  Make it a ritual: arrive home, immediately switch into a t-shirt and shorts, and start the second part of your day afresh.


2. Keep essential gear by the door.

Outdoor shoes, sunglasses, a brimmed hat, sunscreen, and bug repellent all are essential summertime outdoor gear. Have them all ready in the same place by your back door.


3. Match eating time with outdoor time.

Lunch took 20 minutes? Then walk for 20 minutes outdoors immediately after eating. Dinner took 30 minutes? Balance it with 30 minutes outside. Make every meal a two-part affair: eating time and then outdoor time.


4. Garden in small batches.

Most of us save up gardening chores for the weekend. The result: several hours of hard work, the last few not very fun. Instead, garden in 30-miute spurts all week long. This will get you outdoors more frequently, and you’ll never get bored or tired because of the brevity of the task. Best of all, come Saturday, your yard and garden will need only a little work, leaving you more time for fun!


5. Use weekday evenings more effectively.

In the same vein, why shop, clean, and cook so much on the weekends? Do your essential weekly errands from 8 to 9pm weekdays, and clear the way for weekend fun. You’ll find that stores are much emptier weekday evenings, making shopping that much less stressful.


6. Take more nature walks.

If you’ve embraced walking as part of your weight-loss regimen, terrific! Now take it up a notch- put on trail-walking shoes, go to a regional park (the more rugged the better) with a friend or loved one, and take a wilderness hike. Bring water and a granola bar, and wander for a few hours of natural, soul-lifting exercise.


7. Assemble a toy box.

What do you love doing outdoors? Whether it’s hitting wiffle golf balls, practicing your fishing fly casting, doing watercolor paintings, shooting basketballs, playing badminton, tossing tennis balls or a Frisbee with your dog, weeding the flower beds or exercising with a hula hoop, have your gear in a waterproof bin near your backdoor, ready for instant usage.

8. Schedule like crazy.

Life’s dirty little secret: The most common Saturday conversation in America goes like this: ‘Whatdayouwannado today?’ ‘I don’t know- whada YOUwannado?’ Well throw out that script. Picnics, hikes, bike rides, arboretum visits don’t just happen spontaneously; you need to plan them. During the week, be as specific in your planning as possible for your upcoming weekend. Don’t just suggest a nature walk for Sunday afternoon, Pick a time and place, and make a firm plan.

Easter Egg Coloring & Hunting

You can’t celebrate Easter without some fun Easter eggs decorated and a yearly Easter egg hunt.  This year we figured it might be fun to spice up this old tradition with some new ways to decorate your eggs and hold a one of a kind Easter egg hunt.  Take a look below and let us know what you think.


Decorating eggs

Shaving Cream Dyed Easter Eggs

Here’s a quick and easy way to dye your Easter eggs this year! Use shaving cream and food coloring! You can also use cool whip as a substitute. I think this is way more fun for kids to do than the traditional way. 






DIY Nail Polish Dipping Easter Eggs

Easter is coming! Are you thinking to make some colored eggs? Here’s a really easy way for you to dye some Easter eggs its called nail polish dipping Easter eggs. It’s very fun and easy to make. Just dip the eggs into the mix of nail polish and that’s it! The nail polish creates a unique marble effect on the eggs, which makes them look so beautiful. Sometimes the eggs look like the harlequin faces, which is so funny. You can also work with kids on it. I am sure they will love playing with the colors and eggs.





DIY Pinata Surprise Easter Eggs

Piñata surprise Easter eggs are the perfect use for those plastic eggs everyone has sitting around their house. You can probably make these with things you have in your craft supply stash, which is one of my favorite ways to DIY. So let’s do it!




Egg-cellent No-Candy Easter Egg Fillers

Avoid the sugar coma and meltdowns this Easter with these egg-cellent non candy Easter egg fillers… perfect for your Easter egg hunt or Easter basket.





Egg Hunts

Floating balloons

The trick to this Easter egg hunt idea is to tie balloons to the eggs, and scatter them throughout the yard. This is perfect for toddlers since the floating balloons draw them in. It doesn’t take much coaxing from the parents either, because children naturally love balloons.



DIY Egg Popper Tree

This is one of those posts that really makes me wish I was a kiddo again!  To make this successful you need to fill poppers, wrapped up like little egg-shaped candies themselves! Hang these up on a nice ol’ tree and let the kids pull and pop, gathering candy as they go. It’s kind of like a reverse egg hunt and is great for older kids who might think they’re too cool for egg hunts.


Easter Bunny Trail

This is something fun to do anywhere!  You can create it along the sidewalks by your home or wherever you celebrate Easter. 









Puzzle Piece Easter Egg Hunt

If you are trying to limit how much sugar you give your kiddos this Easter this is the perfect Easter Egg stuffer for you! Who doesn’t love a good puzzle?  This version is extra fun since you have to find all the eggs to get the pieces too!


The Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt

Everyone recalls participating in an Easter Egg Hunt when they were young, but how do you make it fun for the kiddos as they get older?  Its simple, just have the hunt when it is dark and make the eggs trickier to find by only giving out flashlights! This is the perfect fun activity for everyone to get involved in.  Hide some eggs and enjoy watching your family bond over this fun activity.



Easter Egg Hunt Checklist

Do you ever feel like the Easter Egg hunt ends too quickly and your little ones are wanting to do it over again? This year try making your hunt even more fun by using the Easter Egg Hunt Checklist. It has items the kids can search for in the backyard, park or wherever your event is at this year.