Native Texan Livin'

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Maggie's 6th birthday - Shopkins Party

My sweetness turned 6 this past Friday so our weekend was full of food, cake, presents, swimming & funny little food items with big eyes & mouths!

Have your children jumped on the Shopkins train yet?!?!  Mine have been on it for a while now & this seemed like the perfect party theme for Maggie.

Our Shopkins Party with a Kooky Cookie Cookie cake & easy Shopkins cookies with royal icing.

I started getting ready for the party by making sugar cookies in the shapes of 4 different Shopkins for the goody bags.  I've gotten to where I don't waste money on junk anymore & give everyone what they!

I used cookie cutters I already had & improvised with the rest.  Here was our cookie menu:
Strawberry Kiss (strawberry) - heart cookie cutter
D'Lish Donut (donut) - circle cookie cutter w/ a small flower cookie cutter for center
Melonie Pips (watermelon) - triangle cookie cutter
Wild Carrot (carrot) - carrot cookie cutter

I'm not what you'd call a traditional cookie decorator who does it the "right way."  I'm always too rushed to do outlines, flooding, 10/20/etc-second icing, etc.  I just do the one giant bowl of royal icing & call it a day.  I just spoon all the icing on my cookies & hope it all stays in place.  Luckily, this process has been working for me so far.
Our Shopkins Party with a Kooky Cookie Cookie cake & easy Shopkins cookies with royal icing.

Our Shopkins Party with a Kooky Cookie Cookie cake & easy Shopkins cookies with royal icing.

Our Shopkins Party with a Kooky Cookie Cookie cake & easy Shopkins cookies with royal icing.

Our Shopkins Party with a Kooky Cookie Cookie cake & easy Shopkins cookies with royal icing.

Our Shopkins Party with a Kooky Cookie Cookie cake & easy Shopkins cookies with royal icing.

D'lish Donut, Strawberry Kiss, Wild Carrot & Melonie Pips easy Shopkins cookies with royal icing

I found these cute strawberry baskets at Hobby Lobby & they were the perfect packaging for the goody bag treat!
Shopkins Cookies in a strawberry container. Perfect goody bag idea for a Shopkins Party

Easy DIY Shopkins party goody bags. Sugar cookies with royal icing, decorated as Shopkins & packaged in strawberry baskets!

A party's not complete without a cake, right?!  But a Shopkins party isn't complete without a Kooky Cookie Cookie Cake!  I continue to use my friend's cookie cake recipe & it's always a winner!  I didn't feel like tackling eyes & a mouth with frosting, so I printed them out on cardstock & "glued" them onto the cake with a smear of frosting.
Easy Kooky Cookie Cookie Cake for a Shopkins Party

I was worried there wasn't going to be enough cookie cake to go around, so I made a couple boxes of cupcakes as well.  Funfetti, of course! :-)
Funfetti cupcakes for Shopkins Party

Keeping with the Shopkins theme, we made a chip display using a very large empty frame.  This was actually a "trash find" that I've been holding onto for about a year.  The kids threw some paint on it (& I literally mean they threw paint) to spruce it up a bit & make it a little whimsical.  Bo stapled some twine across the back & then attached all the individual chip bags with mini clothespins.  I think it turned out super cute!  Maggie was really proud of it & the display made it really easy for the kids to just come and get whatever they wanted.  If it got too empty...we just refilled it!
Chip bag display using an empty frame for Shopkins Party. Easy DIY.

This was my favorite decoration of all!  hahaha!  It's even still up in the half-bath...staring at us...holding its nose! ;-)  I found ALL the Shopkins characters here so I could just copy/paste them into Word & print the size I needed.
Leagy Toilet Paper Shopkin for easy decor for Shopkins Party

Thanks to all of our family & friends who were able to celebrate Maggie's birthday with us!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pool Side Piña Colada

♫♪♫♪  If you like Piña Coladas...getting caught in the rain.... ♪♫♪♫

Or if you prefer them like I do, on a super hot sunny day, then you've come to the right place!

It could be hotter so I'm not going to complain!  Many moons ago, Bo actually gave me the choice for us to move somewhere colder but I chose here.  Family, friends & 150°F days...can't beat it!

Truth be told, I'm not normally a Piña Colada girl.  Pool side, I'm more likely to order a Rum Punch or Mai Tai...but something about seeing all these ingredients in the store got me in the mood for a Piña Colada!  Let's be honest though...the main selling point was that it included rum! ;-)  (hold on...I'm seeing a trend here in my drink preferences...)

FUN FACT about the Piña Colada....
Did you know it originated in Puerto Rico?  Did you know my dad is from Puerto Rico & living there right now?!?!  Did you also know the Piña Colada became Puerto Rico's national drink in 1978...the year yours truly was born?!?! (←that's me. I'm "yours truly") :-)  Coincidence?  I think not!

OK, back to the important stuff!  Here's what works for me....

2 oz. pineapple juice
2 oz. coconut cream
4 oz. coconut rum (reserve 1/2 oz)
ice (+/- 2 cups)

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth & frosty
Add more or less ice depending on your preference
Pour frosty goodness into a hollowed pineapple, an empty coconut or a regular glass (I hear they work just as good!) :-)
Top it off with the last 1/2 ounce of coconut rum
Garnish with a slice of pineapple & a festive drink umbrella

HEB had these cute personal sized pineapples, so I couldn't pass it up for this frosty concoction!  I didn't have one of those fancy pineapple peeler/corer/slicers so I made do with what I had...a knife!  I just cut around the inside edge of the pineapple & made an X thru the middle.  Then I scooped all the pineapple meat into a bowl with my handy dandy grapefruit spoon.

Bo enjoyed his Piña Colada too...and his beer! ;-) (Yes, that's how we roll!) The girls just enjoyed using their new donut drink floats in the pool.

This recipe was super easy & always a favorite!  What's your go-to pool side drink?  I guess next time I'll need to make a kid-friendly version for the kiddos!  Oops! :-)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Bec's Graduation - Class of 2016

The day finally came.  Becca graduated from High School last Thursday.  Graduation day was a wet one...rain, monsoons, flooding, tears.  It was all there!  We thought the ceremony was going to be moved into the school, but regardless of all the complaining about the rain, I'm glad it ended up outside in the wet stadium.  We all got to attend, and in true Santiago fashion, we all yelled, hooted & hollered just so she'd know we were there! :-)

Thank you to all of my family who went the extra mile this past week to support us in such an important life milestone!  We appreciate it more than you'll ever realize!

Bec will be leaving in a couple months for the Navy & it's all going to change in ways I'm not sure we're all prepared for.  I know she'll excel in what she puts her mind to, so I know she'll do great!

My sister Valerie surprised us with this amazing video montage & we all cried the ugly tears of happiness, sadness & joy.  We wish away days, hoping these kids will grow out of "this stage" or "that phase" but watching this video showed me just how fast these past 18 years flew by.

You can {click here} to view the video (I removed the video box that would show the video in this post because it kept auto-playing & would mess up the timing if you paused it). & here aree a few pictures from graduation day & party day.


Welcome to graduation!

Cattle call!

Yes...we had to use umbrellas even under cover!

The skies cleared, the chairs were dried & the kids finally got to come out

Finally getting to walk in!

600+ students ready to graduate

Hooray, they did it!

Proud little sister!

Oh no!  Izzy's next! (good thing we have 9 more years to prepare!)


Memaw with her first great grandchild! 
(as a side note, my Pepaw didn't get to see any of his grandchildren
graudate.  The fact that Memaw has gotten to see all of us graduate, 
& now even a GREATgrandchild graduate, means the world to me!)

reenacting a time when Bec was smaller than us!

 4 generations

Bec with her Graduation bear she got at her Kinder graduation