A coule of weeks ago my friend Tracy found a recipe for Jelly Bean Martini's and instantly thought of me (hummm....).  She read the recipe to me (thinking I would retain what she had read out loud - ha!) and she even went out and bought some of the ingredients.  Tonight she brought over the ingredients had she bought - at this point I ask for the recipe to which she replied, "Oh, I left it somewhere, but no worries, we can look it up online." HA! That was a flop, so we decided to make up our own version of a recipe she found in some magazine that I can't remember the name of  - (it was either Women's World or Women's Day or maybe even Maximum - who knows!). So, she had Citrus Vodka, Ginger Ale & marshmallow bunny Peeps. I had colored sugars & Jelly Beans. We remember something else was in the recipe, but for the life of us we couldn't remember exactly what it was, but we think it was Grand Marnier and since I had that in my liquor cabinet that is what we used.

I must say our concoction was pretty freaking FABULOUS!

2 oz Citrus Vodka
1 oz Grand Marnier
1-2 oz Ginger Ale
8 Jelly Beans
Colorful Sugar Rim
Peeps Bunny

~Sugar the rim as pictured
~Put Jelly Beans in the bottom of your martini glass
~Shake Vodka & Grand Marnier in a Martini shaker till nice and cold. Pour into prepared Martini Glass, add a splash of cold Ginger Ale, add a Peeps Bunny to the glass and serve! 

Happy Easter! 
I can’t believe it has taken me this long to write about our FABULOUS 4th of July weekend!

Now let me start off by saying I was in desperate need of a break. I could feel the tension building – my shoulders were tight and I was becoming more and more snippy by the day.  I had piled so much on my plate that is was overflowing into a big puddle of mush all over the floor. I just needed a few days away to regroup and have fun.  The 4th of July weekend with friends came just at the right time.

The kids and I were SO ready when we hopped in the car on Saturday the 2nd of July and headed to Shreveport, LA to hang out with some dear friends.   This was my friends 9th annual 4th of July party and it really is a sort of “family reunion”.  Now mind you, we are not family in the sense of ‘blood’ relations so my oldest was a little reluctant to go.  However Kim and I have been friends for (insert *gasp* here) over 20 year. We met while waiting tables back in college and then we moved to Wyoming together to work on a dude ranch (go figure) - in fact that dude ranch is where she met her Hubby (Yes, there is a little history there). Any-who, we lost touch for a few years in between and just reconnected a few years ago on Facebook - AND we picked up right where we left off so many years ago.  This past year  in April 2010 I had the pleasure of becoming reacquainted with her family as well.  It was wonderful - so much so that they have invited us to spend 4th of July with them year after year.  AND after this year I have become Momma S's favorite daughter.  She even said so.  ;o) 

The reunion weekend is held at Teri's house each year.  Teri, her husband and their children were more than welcoming and had us stay with them in their house, along with 28 other houseguest.  I think there were 33 people staying in their house and in RV's on their lawn.  I thought I might go a bit crazy, but I must admit it was some of the most fun chaos I have had in a long time!

After hugging a few necks I couldn't help but notice this beauty that was sitting on the mantel in T's living room. And of course there is a story behind it...
I posted this picture on FB a few hours after I arrived and several of my friends ask about it. This is what Teri wrote:  "This is one of my most treasured pieces. It means so much to me and my family. When my little girl was in Kindergarten, her teacher painted this beautiful "Lady Liberty" when celebrating America. If you look closely, you can see that she ...then pasted the little classmates onto the "viewing deck" as though they were actual "tourist" on this national landmark. Long story short, I went crazy for it when I first saw it even taking pictures of it and sending her a note if admiration. Well at the end of the year, I was called into the office to "pick up a poster". Rolled up in the corner was this painting!! I immediately picked it up, hugged everyone in my path and headed straight to. Frame shop where they framed it for me! THEN, as a gesture of kindness (after my dad passed away) the frame shop wouldn't allow me to pay for the frame! It was their gift to me and my family. It still puts a lump in my throat when I think about it. :)
It normally doesn't reside atop my mantle, but for every 4th of July, it absolutely will! Thanks for wanting "the story". And Happy 4th everybody!"

It didn't take the little kids long to feel right at home, in fact all I heard about two weeks before our trip was Mrs. Teri this, Mrs. Teri that.....blah, blah, blah, Mrs. Teri.  I was considering leaving them with Mrs. Teri, but I know her and she would have kept them.  Now after they saw the pool and the garden, sweet Mrs. Teri was chopped liver. ;o)
It wasn't too long before the big boy started having fun as well.  Even though he just knew he would be the outsider and he was worried about coming into this group of 'cousins' that grew up together - they were VERY welcoming and he is now considered one of them.  I love how friendships work.
Check out their 'old men socks'!
Our weekend in pictures....(Just FYI - if you click on the pictures it turns into a slide show where you can click through and read the captions.)
OH, and one of my favorite picture that I took this weekend is this one:
I just love how peacful it is.
The room I was staying in had this sign on the wall, it is now one of my favorite sayings:
Thanks to all of the "S" family for making my family feel so welcome.  I love you guys.
The only thing that could have made this weekend better is if my darling Hubby were here.  JT - I missed you and thought about you constantly.  You are always in my thoughts and prayers.  I love you & can't wait for you to come home.