Thailand-Inspired Fresh Fruit Shakes

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In April, we treated ourselves to a graduation trip to Thailand. For two weeks, we travelled with our friend Maddy to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Koh Phi Phi, experiencing a culture that we will never forget. Three months later, we still reminisce daily about the people we met in hostels, the most incredible street food, the bustling markets, the $7 massages, the magnificent temples and the picturesque beaches. Some experiences, like the elephant sanctuary, were so impactful that they have really stayed with us back in our real non-vacationing lives. We’ve been educating our family and friends about the harm of riding elephants, something that neither of us and many other tourists don’t realize.

In the hundred degree humid weather, we found sanctuary in the small street stands on nearly every block that sold fresh fruit shakes. They were just four simple ingredients: fruit, water, ice and sugar, but they were so refreshing and flavorful, the second we finished one we were dying for another. We each had our go-to fruit (Kirby’s watermelon & Michelle’s mango) and we had about three a day, often times along with our Chang beers. It may seem almost comical to share such a simple recipe on this blog, but to keep these delicious drinks to ourselves would be outright selfish.


Ingredients & Materials:

  • 2 cups chopped fruit (your choice!)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Agave
  • Ice
  • A blender

Pick your favorite fruit to make your shake and be sure that it is ripe and in season. We opted for watermelon, pineapple and mango.

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Dice your fruit and remove seeds if necessary. You need about 2 cups of fruit per shake, though you could get away with less if you are using a richer and denser fruit like mango.

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Blend your fruit with a cup of water, a cup of ice and a tablespoon of agave.

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And that’s it!!! So simple. So good. Enjoy!

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Cheers!

-Kirby & Michelle

 

 

Harry Potter Wine Charms

HP (5 of 17)Just recently it was the 20th anniversary of the release of the first Harry Potter book. That blew my mind. Although Harry Potter has been a major part of my life even before I could read, J.K. Rowling’s magical world still feels so fresh and present to me, as if the books came out just yesterday. I don’t even bother pretending I’m not a total Harry Potter geek. Seriously, the intro song still makes me giddy. I remember Christmas when I was six and my mom, in typical Mrs. Weasley fashion, gave my brother and I matching Gryffindor sweaters, I remember dressing up in robes for the book release at our local bookstore, and I remember going to the midnight premieres of the movies in Spanish (we were living in Mexico at the time) and loving them even without understanding them. Everyone should have something that brings out their biggest dopiest smile, like Harry Potter does for me.

So upon realizing that it was the 20th anniversary, I decided it was time to make another Harry Potter craft (check out our sorting hat cupcakes from last year). I’ve combined the wizarding world with one of my other favorite passions: wine nights. These wine charms are super easy to make, the materials are cheap, and I absolutely love them! It’s a subtle way to distinguish your wine glass from others’ and they aren’t so “in your face” Harry Potter so you could get away with saying they are just charms…. shaped like lighting bolts… and broomsticks. I made 12 so I’m keeping half for myself and sending the other half to Michelle. Now that our wine nights will no longer be spent together we’ll have to find new Harry Potter loving friends!


Materials:

  • Harry Potter charms (I found mine here)
  • Jump rings
  • Earring hoops
  • Beads
  • (optional) Paper that looks like parchment
  • (optional) Thin black pen or marker
  • (optional) Card stock
  • (optional) Glue

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Loop the jump rings onto the charms so that they hang the right way. If you use different charms than I did, just check the angle of the charm’s loop to see if you need them.

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String half of the beads onto the earring hoop, then add the charm, and then add the remaining beads.

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Thread the open ended wire through the loop and bend it back over to hold it in place. Repeat with all of the other charms. Seriously, it is that easy!

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As an extra touch, I wrote Harry Potter wine puns (after some serious brainstorming) at the top of parchment colored paper and pinned the final charms to them.

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Glue a slightly smaller piece of card stock to the back so that it is sturdier.

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I opted for “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Wine” and “It’s not wingardium leviosa, it’s wine-gardium leviosa”. Other ideas are “Sherry Potter” and “Moaning Merlot”. I’d love to hear if you guys can come up with any others!

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Happy crafting!

-Kirby

Emoji Lollipops

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Emojis have always held a special place in my heart. They add a little something extra to my digital life and are often the primary reason that I laugh out loud from texts with my friends. From my days recreating emojis with Snapchat’s drawing feature to procrastinating studying for finals to everyday texting with my friends and family, Emojis have always had my back. There is an emoji for pretty much everything and every mood. Can you even imagine a world without them??? (cue eye roll from mom and dad).

As Kirby and I are always looking for new and unique crafts to try for our blog, we absolutely love taking suggestions from our readers. We’d like to give a special shout-out to Diane Estephan for giving us this awesome idea. We had so much fun turning our favorite emoji faces into tasty lemon lollipops to share with everyone. 😍😂😳😉😎


Materials:

  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp lemon flavoring (we used these)
  • Yellow food coloring
  • Candy thermometer
  • Lollipop molds and sticks
  • Royal icing (black, white, red, blue – find our recipe here)
  • Piping bags or ziplock bags

Combine sugar, water, corn syrup, lemon flavoring, and food coloring into a large saucepan over high heat.

 

Stir continuously until mixture is brought to a boil. Insert a candy thermometer and keep stirring until the mixture reaches 310˚F.

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Once the mixture has reached 310˚F, remove the saucepan from the stove and transfer it into another container with a spout (I used a Pyrex measuring cup). Carefully pour the mixture into the lollipop molds. Immediately after, insert the lollipop sticks. It is important not to wait too long as the mixture hardens relatively quickly!

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Let cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from the molds.

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After removing the lollipops from the molds, you may begin turning the lollipops into your favorite emojis with royal icing!

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Allow the icing to set and harden before handing out and embracing your inner-emoji!

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Enjoy!

– Michelle