Happy 4th of July everyone! We hope you have plans to spend some quality time with your family and friends over the long holiday weekend. That’s definitely on tap for both of us.We feel so blessed to live in such a wonderful country where so many have sacrificed (and continue to sacrifice) for our freedom. God Bless the USA!
We wish you a safe and festive holiday and can’t wait to see you back on Monday morning… we have LOTS to discuss!!!!!
Wow, 2013 has been quite a year. Engagements, weddings, moves, new jobs…we can’t even believe how jampacked it has been (but would not have wanted it any other way)!
Today we decided to take a little trip down memory lane to share some of our favorite projects from the year.
Here’s our 2013 Blog Post Hall of Fame.
Bridget’s up first…
Herringbone Doormat: I still think this doormat is one of my favorite DIY projects yet. I heart the dramatic transformation, the colors, and our ability to overcome the fear of figuring out how to tape a herringbone design makes this doormat one of my MVP’s this year. There was too much laughter and not nearly enough measuring that went into this doormat, and it still turned out! Love when that happens. After this “baby step” into herringbone, I definitely want to create a few more herringbone projects this year… stay tuned.
Pallet Sign: This project is definitely one of my favs this year. I love it for so many reasons….
1. It was a DIY that I did with Matt, which is always an interesting experience.
2. It was a gift for Father’s Day that my dad still loves!
3. I was surfing Pinterest lately, and I stumbled upon a picture of Matt working on the pallet that one of our readers had pinned. I never ever thought the day would come that I would see my better half doing a project on Pinterest.
Back to Back Wood Block Art: This was one my first projects on the DIY Playbook and I still look back and love it. It totally reminds me of kicking off this crazy journey that is our blog and makes me proud to think back over the amazing experiences we have had this past year! Plus, it’s a statement DIY that covers TWO holidays while only taking up storage space for ONE. With storage space at a premium these days, I can really appreciate this nerdy perk!
Mason Jar Organizer: I created this project on a whim. I was bored over a long weekend and decided to whip up something cool for Finn’s bathroom. Little did I know that this project would be our most popular one (by far!). Many readers have recreated their own mason jar organizers and we’re so happy that so many of you loved it. Therefore this one tops my list of 2013 favorites!
52 Reasons Why I Love You: Now technically this is not a 2013 post. I wrote this post back in 2012, before we even made our blog public (we were a little nervous to actually put it all out there!) But this is one of my absolute favorite projects and I urge any girlfriends, wives, friends to take some time and make their own “love jar.” It really made our year so special and made me appreciate the man by side every week of the year.
Quote onto Canvas: I really do love this project and the idea behind this project. Back in May I was really worried about the future. Finn and I knew we wanted to eventually move home to Chicago and it was stressing us out and adding unnecessary anxiety to our lives. I put that quote onto a canvas and prominently displayed it in our bedroom. That constant reminder helped us everyday, and here we are 6 months later all settled in Chicago…
Jan’s Mailbox Makeover: I love this project for 2 reasons. #1 it made my mom so incredibly happy. #2 it is quite the transformation. This just shows how a little elbow grease and paint can really take a project to the next level!
Both Casey & Bridget…
Standing up to DIY: We both agree that one of our favorite posts from 2013 was when our boys took over the blog for April Fool’s Day. Man oh man their post cracked us up! We’re just happy that they didn’t “win” with their DIY ideas and we don’t have bobbleheads and Cosmo Kramer all over our homes. #yikes
You guys, our favorite readers, have made 2013 so special for us both. Thank you for your kindness, encouragement, and support with DIY Playbook. We are so grateful that you take time out of your busy schedules each day to tune in to our a little slice of the blogosphere. The comments, the emails, the reader rebounds makes this blog so worth it. Thank YOU!
We look forward to what 2014 has in store for these two rookies, and we can’t wait to share the journey with you.
Happy New Year & be safe tonight!
P.S. We know people may be dragging a bit tomorrow after a crazy New Year’s Eve, but if you’re looking for some entertainment be sure to tune into the blog in the morning. We’ll be posting our very first v-log (video blog!) and it should be very interesting…
If you’re having a 4th of July BBQ, I’ve got a delicious beverage that you should definitely add to your menu.
It’s a fruity, sparkling sangria that is bound to be the hit of your bash. This cocktail will keep your guests refreshed, and I’m sure they’ll come back for more!
1 cup sugar
2 cups Cointreau
2 cups Absolut Mandarin
1 large bottle of Rhine Wine (I use the gallon jug of Carlo Rossi. It brings me back to my college days…)
2 quarts club soda
Pour all of the alcohol together and add sugar. Stir. Cut the fruit into slices and add to the alcohol mixture. Let this mixture sit all night or longer in the refrigerator. Just before serving, add the club soda. Make sure it is all chilled.
If you are having a big group, make two batches because this drink will go fast!
Now we didn’t do it here in the pictures, but I suggest serving the sangria in a large clear drink dispenser with a spigot. That way the liquid pours out and the fruit stays in the dispenser.
The fruit will also add some eye-catching color to your 4th of July table display.
Now would also be a great time to break out the patriotic straws that we showed you last week.
So cheers to a festive 4th of July tomorrow! Be safe & have fun fellow rookies!
Okay, back to the deliciousness that is about to ensue..
These cookies are the bomb. So dense, so chewy, so decadent. I’m all about chocolate chip cookies, but it is nice to try a different recipe every now and then.
My mom is the one that turned me onto this recipe, and I can’t thank her enough for bringing this yummy goodness into my kitchen.
White Chocolate Dipped Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
-1 cup butter, softened
-1 cup packed light brown sugar
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 T. vanilla
-2 cups flour
-1 t. baking soda
-1/2 t. baking powder
-1/2 t. salt
-2 cups sweetened dried cranberries
-1.5 cups pecan pieces
-1.5 cups uncooked quick cooking oats
-3 (4 oz) white chocolate baking bars, chopped
-1 T. shortening
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy, gradually add sugars, beating well. Add egg and vanilla, beating until blended. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients, gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Stir in cranberries, pecans, and oats. Drop dough by heaping T. 2 inches apart onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned.
The cookies are good even without the chocolate and sprinkles. Feel free to eat them as is (I felt a tad healthier munching on a few this way. Key word: “tad”) But if you want to jazz them up (& give them a holiday feel), proceed to the next set of directions.
Once they’re cool (I let mine cool overnight) they’re ready for the finishing touches (a.k.a. the best part).
White Chocolate Dipping Directions:
Microwave white chocolate and shortening in medium, microwave-safe bowl on high for 1 minute, or until chocolate melts. Stirring once. Dip half of each cookie into melted chocolate, letting excess drip back into bowl. Dash sprinkles of your choice onto the chocolate. Place dipped cookies on wax paper to cool.
I put mine directly in the freezer for about an hour. I highly recommend not skipping the freezer. This makes sure they don’t turn into a gooey white chocolate mess. Trust me…
These cookies really do have a patriotic flair.
I originally tried blueberries (along with the cranberries) for the “BLUE” portion of this recipe. They were still delicious, but didn’t give off enough of a “blue vibe”. That’s when I decided sprinkles would have to do.
I wish I could have found some better sprinkles. Perhaps some navy ones would have fit the red, white, & blue theme a bit better? Or maybe I could have even done both red & blue sprinkles? You decide what works best for your own patriotic twist on these bad boys.
These moist, chewy, and chocolatey cookies will be the hit of any 4th of July bash.
So now it is your turn…tell us your favorite treat to bake for 4th of July! We want to know what patriotic recipes you have in your playbook.
As you probably know, Google Reader is going away next week! We’ve tried out both Blog Lovin’ & Feedly and have really enjoyed both. You can follow us on blog lovin’ here or feedly here. Thanks for the support guys!
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