Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda Cocktail

Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda RecipeI usually don’t like using odd ingredients. I won’t even make a recipe if it requires some off the wall thing that I’ve never seen at the store. But there is one exception to this rule. Cocktails. I LOVE using unique ingredients in cocktail recipes. So when I saw this Hibiscus Liqueur I knew I had to try it. I also knew that it wouldn’t be overly sweet and would have a bit of an herbal note, which are two of my favorite qualities in cocktails. And grapefruit juice. I’ve grown to love it. So I knew it would be the right pairing to create a Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda Cocktail.

Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda RecipePlus I really like the branding on the liqueur bottle. And even though using the label has never lead me to a good wine, which I always hope it will, I decided to give this a shot anyway. This time, I was not disappointed. All the other ingredients are straightforward and fresh. It’s almost ridiculous how simple this cocktail is to make.

Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda Cocktail RecipeSqueeze your fresh juices (grapefruit and lime – if you don’t have fresh grapefruits use Trader Joe’s grapefruit juice. It’s my fave) in to a shaker. Add your vodka, hibiscus liqueur and agave syrup. Shake, shake, shake it up.  With ice.

Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda RecipeAnd here is where my crazy comes out. Usually I would strain this into a glass with ice. But on this day, I didn’t like how my ice looked…The drink is chilled from shaking it with ice so it really doesn’t need more, but if you’d like to drink this over ice, please be my guest. Top with soda.

Hibiscus LiqueurThis just opened up a whole new world for me. I think I’m just going to add this to all my favorite cocktails. The deep color adds a nice tone to the cocktail. And it adds flavor without being BAM, in your face.

Grapefruit and lime cocktail idea. I know it’s still winter. Although today was 75 degrees (California, I don’t hate you). But fresh citrus makes it taste like summer in your glass no matter what time of year you use it.

Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda RecipeSo simple. Pretty. Delicious. Make these.

Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda Cocktail
 
This super simple cocktail recipe has a fun twist of an unusual liqueur.
Recipe type: Cocktail
Ingredients
  • 1 oz. grapefruit juice (fresh squeezed or Trader Joe's)
  • ½ oz. lime juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 1 oz. vodka (or more if you like it on the strong side)
  • ½ oz. Hibiscus Liqueur
  • ½ oz. agave syrup
  • 2 oz. club soda
Instructions
  1. To a cocktail shaker add grapefruit juice, lime juice, vodka, hibiscus liqueur, and agave syrup.
  2. Add ice to cocktail shaker and shake you heart out.
  3. Strain in to a low ball glass (with or without ice).
  4. Top with soda water.
  5. Drink up.

 

 

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Bash Conference: A Recap

My Bash Conference 2015 recapEarly in January I attended a brand new conference called Bash. It was held in Arizona at The Wigwam Resort (beautiful!) and it was two days of sessions, speakers, networking and fun. A fantastic party planner and blogger, that I met years ago at my very first Operation Shower, Michelle of Maddycakes Muse, decided to put on this conference for the party planner/blogger community to learn and grow and lift each other up. Yup, that was a total run on sentence. I’m sure it was no easy task to put on a conference of any size and THIS was awesome. She nailed it. I was super impressed with every aspect of it. I apologize for the iphone photos. Although I took my DSLR, it never left the hotel room. When you go to a conference full of party planners, you kind of just want to party. I wanted to do a Bash Conference recap in case any of you are wondering if you should attend next year. In short, the answer is yes.

Palm trees and blue skiesI want to be super honest. I wasn’t expecting to get a ton out of it. When I started this blog I was strictly party focused and my first real blog friends are all from that world. I wanted the chance to spend time with these gals and at the last-minute was able to attend (side note: Tickets were about $400. BUT there were several opportunities leading up to the conference to win a free ticket. Also, they did a black Friday sale which is where I was able to buy my ticket for $200! Oh! And they offered a VIP option, for an extra $50, which got you preferred seating at the sessions, one on one time with the keynotes and speakers, transportation to and from the hotel to the resort plus some extra special goodies at check in. It was a great feature that I haven’t seen at any other conference.) And it was held in Arizona. I love Arizona. Any who. When the conference was initially announced, it seemed like the sessions were geared towards to party planners. But then they announced another track of sessions and those were more business focused. I wasn’t sure how they would bridge the gap between the attendees who wanted to learn about party planning as a business and building a business from a party blog. I strongly believe, however, that any time you attend a conference you learn somethings, especially if you keep yourself open to it.

My Bash Conference RecapI arrived on Thursday afternoon and had a little time to relax before the first evening’s party. It’s always nice to ease in to a conference. The first night they held a welcome party that included gaming tables (which I sucked at) and craft stations (which after a few glasses of wine, I sucked at). The volunteers for the conference were SO welcoming and made everyone feel right at home. Although I had a bunch of friends with me, I would have had a great time even if I had gone on my own. [Read more…]

Kid’s Monster Birthday Party

Monster party banner for kid's birthday partyI am now the proud owner of a six-year-old. My youngest son had a birthday 4 days after Christmas so we had a little family party for him. I’m over the huge kids parties. Well, to be honest, the size of my house is over huge kids parties. But that doesn’t mean I can’t make him feel special. He had originally asked for a Pokemon party. I had a really hard time with that. I was going to do it, but I wasn’t going to like it. But my son’s favorite things to draw are monsters and then it dawned on me that we could do a monster birthday party but base it on his personal monster drawings. The banner was printed by Direct Edge Media and is still up in my house. Because it’s awesome.

Cute monster party invitation.This was the monster that really made me think a monster party would be so fun. I knew it would be perfect for the invitations and other party decor. So I scanned it in, and created a super simple invitation. We made sure to send them out really early due to the holidays. So I started planning and picking up a few things here and there. And thank goodness I did. I came down with the stomach flu a few days before the party and for a split second thought about canceling it. My mom and mom in law stepped in and really helped me out! So while I had intended to do a lot more, this is what I could muster up the strength to do. And I think there were enough special touches to make his day super special.

Kid's monster birthday party ideas.Because this cutie pumpkin deserves to feel special. Just a note, if you feel awful and need to cut corners, go with googly eyes. Just put them everywhere.

How fun is this fruit monster! Perfect for my son's monster birthday party.And ask your father in law to make fruit monsters for you.

Cute fruit monster for monster birthday party. Because they were spectacular and were a huge hit. I can’t think of a more fun way to serve fruit. I got the idea here.

Monster eye cookiesMy mom made these eyeball cookies for me. And they were cute and super tasty. Idea came from here. (I’m telling you, pinterest is awesome even for the most creative of us).

We set out an ice cream float bar at my son's monster birthday party and it was a huge hit! We set up an ice cream float bar. You guys HAVE to do this. Kids and adults both loved this!

Monster art gallery.I know this is kind of hard to see and I didn’t set it up as cute as I would have liked to but I put up a simple gallery of some of his other monster drawings. I also turned one in to a pillow.

DIY monster party hats from Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby has prepackaged monster party supplies that are pretty dang cute. I knew I didn’t want to buy all of the items, but I did pick up a few things to make my life a little bit easier. These make your own party hats were a simple activity that I could set out in case the kids wanted something to do.

Monster party game idea.My dad helped us make this Monster Toss game. He cut the holes and painted the board so that my son could draw on his own monsters. To keep it simple, I gave him colored sharpies and had him draw right on it. Next time, I think I would have him draw them on in pencil and then fill in with paint to make the monsters really stand out. I had my friend Carole sew the CUTEST bean bags (I know you are thinking, “Take it easy. How can a bean bag be SO cute?” But they totally were. I’ll take a picture of them soon to show you) but then I found this tutorial on how to make them with new sewing.

Draw your own monster cookies. I tried my hand at royal icing cookies for the first time. You guys, it totally sucks. I did not enjoy it and may never make them again. But look how cute they are when drawn on with edible markers?! I thought since my son likes to draw monsters so much, we would let the kids draw their own. It was an activity AND snack. I love double duty party ideas. Turns out, when I was sick and started cutting things off my to-do list, I kept on all the sugar. I also made these really simple jolly rancher suckers. They added so much color and another way to use candy eyes.

It was a great day! I didn’t have to cancel the party and my son has some fun memories from his special day.

I Love VH1’s Hindsight and a 90’s Music Playlist

Hindsight on VH1I am OBSESSED! with this new show on VH1 on called Hindsight. Have you heard of it?! It’s the BEST! So the show starts, present day, the night before what would be the cute blond’s second wedding. She’s doubting the wedding. Then something happens and she wakes up in the year 1995. But this time, it is the night before her first wedding. The one that she knows isn’t going to work out. So does she change how she lived her life to make her outcome different, better? Will that, in turn, mean that other people’s lives are changed for the worse? The story line is unique, the cast is awesome. But we need to talk about the soundtrack. Because it is amazing! And the funny little 90’s jokes are pretty great too. And I adore the way that Becca (cute blond) tries to explain to her friend, Lolly (cute redhead) about all these modern advances and movies, etc. You HAVE to watch it. And it got me thinking about all my fave 90’s songs so I made a playlist. Ok, this isn’t ALL my favorite 90’s songs (when I started to add in R&B my list went out of control. I’ll save that for another post).

Watch VH1’s Hindsight Wednesdays at 9 pm! (photo credit via VH1) but you can also get caught up online!

Now here is a little bit about my 90’s:

1.  I graduated high school in 1995 the year this show takes place.

2. I got my first cell phone in 1995 because I was working at a video store (ha!) as my first job and my parent’s didn’t want me to drive home late at night without one. I ended up transferring to a music store.

3. I grew up in Anaheim, home of No Doubt and they played at my grad night at Disneyland. Tragic Kingdom had just come out and it was the most amazing show to see them play that album there!

4.  No Doubt’s ‘I’m Just a Girl’ was my anthem because see number 2 and 3 above.

5. My first concert in Los Angeles, without my parents, was Smashing Pumpkins at the Palladium. I stupidly wore my Birkenstocks. Everyone else had on Dr. Martens.

6. We got our first cd player for my sister’s high school graduation party (she graduated in 1994).   The first two cds I bought were Throwing Muses and The Breeders.

Now got watch the show!

Coffee Lover Free Printable

free coffee printable with touches of leopard print for the coffee and animal print lover. Happy hump day, yo. As I get older, I’ve become really in to coffee. Not only do I look forward to my morning cup beginning the night before but I also enjoy finding those places that serve really delicious coffee. I also love the community aspect of coffee. I love how you can sit and enjoy a cup with someone and use it as a way to really connect and spend time with them. I began drinking coffee, right out of college, rather by necessity when I commuted to Los Angeles for my internship. Although I was getting plenty of sleep at night, the monotonous, stop-and-go drive was enough to make me feel like I was falling asleep at the wheel. The simple act of sipping something warm, helped me to focus and drive safely. Previous to this, I had enjoyed only mochas (because who doesn’t like to drink chocolate) as a desserty treat. Fast forward to today, coffee is now part of “me time.” Sure I drink it while I take the kids to school, but I also really enjoy preparing it in the morning and knowing that I am about to start my day and will hopefully make some magic happen. So I will tell you how this coffee lover free printable came to be.

Free coffee lover printable using Beastie Boys song lyricsBecause I am a music lover, certain song lyrics float around in my head. This one, by the Beastie Boys, had been an idea I had for New Year’s Eve cocktails. I reached out to one of my favorite graphic designers, Heather of River and Bridge, and since I waited until the last-minute to work on it, gave her very minimal details of what I was looking for. What came back, though was so much better. When I opened the file and saw more of a coffee cup type cup, my first thought was, “Heather is a genius.” For most of us, our day doesn’t get started without coffee. And I love that this feels empowering. Do you get that? I usually over think everything.

Free printable for coffee lovers and people in to home decorTo me, this says, don’t waste any of the day. Let’s get started and tackle what awesome things lie ahead.

Free coffee lover printableTo me it says, let’s make a change, collectively. Not just on your own, but as a community. Let’s finish the cup and DO something.

This free printable is perfect for the coffee lover in your life. Even better if they love Beastie Boys.And it is also just fun! What does it mean to you?

Download this print, frame it and remind yourself to make the most of your day. Take the day by storm and finish that cup. Sure, it sometimes takes 2 or 3 cups to get going. But use that time to plan your attack. Then tilt your head back. And finish that cup.

The song printable is set up as an 8×10 but you should be able to shrink it to fit whatever size best suits your needs. This would also make a great gift tag for a coffee lover gift!

Finish the Cup Coffee Printable

See more of Heather’s work on her site: River and Bridge

*I’m looking to do more collaborations! Let me know if you think we can work together!