The Busy Giffs: June 2017

June 30, 2017

Tipsy S'mores Shakes: An Easy Summer {Grown Up} Treat!

S'mores and trips to the local ice cream joint are pretty much the two staples of summer for me.  I could be on the beach, in a swimming pool, or on a lake... it doesn't matter-  as long as I have an ice cream cone or a perfectly toasted s'mores, it feels like summer.

These super easy Tipsy S'mores Shakes are the perfect grown up drink to enjoy next to a campfire.

2 oz Smirnoff Fluff Vodka
2 cups vanilla ice cream
8 oz milk
Chocolate syrup
2 graham crackers, crushed

In a blender, add milk, ice cream and Fluffed vodka. Blend.
Drizzle chocolate syrup onto the sides of the cup.
Pour in milkshake.
Top with more chocolate and crushed graham crackers.

How perfect is this in the summer....

xo, Heather

June 26, 2017

40 in 4: #1

Remember when I started a 40 in 4? 40 by 40 seems like such a long time but as 6 months have gone by and I've barely done anything, maybe I should have made it by 40! Ha!

I did cross off my first item last week though... #5. Wear a bikini to the beach, no cover up.

Honestly, I thought I would have lost a lot more weight before i did that but at a size 16, I did it. I found a bathing suit I liked, but that wasn't really it either. I was able to wear a bikini because I feel so good about myself. Again, I haven't lost any weight; I just am happy.

It's only one but it's a start!

xo, Heather

40 in 4:

1. Run a 5k
2. Have my palm read.
3. Weekend in the Vineyard with my family.
4. Buy a bicycle.
5. Wear a bikini to the beach, no cover up.
6. Put my toes into the Pacific Ocean.
7. Go back to Disney
8. Go to Universal Studio
9. Get a job in Higher Ed
10. See another Broadway play
11. Fit into a size 8.
12. Travel to Europe, ideally London or Rome.
13. Get another tattoo (or two).
14. Be debt free, minus student loans and mortgage.
15. Put away a 4 month emergency amount.
16. Begin working on an administrator's license or a PhD.
17. Take a photography class.
18. Travel somewhere tropical.
19. Go camping.
20. Get professional head shots for the blog.
21. Sew Emma a matching dress for her and her dolls
22. Consider selling the custom shirts I've been making for the kids...
23. Take a cooking or baking class.
24. Take a cake decorating class.
25. Go to Ireland.
26. Find a local church to belong to/Baptize Tyler.
27. Get out of the minivan.
28. Take a calligraphy class.
29. Participate in Restaurant Week in Boston or Providence.
30. Go to Disney Land.
31. Work on our kitchen: backsplash, new desk, new table...
32. Buy a jacuzzi and redo the back deck.
33. Fence in our yard.
34. Landscape.
35. Finish the basement.
36. Attending the NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade
37. Create a real vegetable garden for an entire season/year.
38. Spend the day at the spa, getting pampered.
39. Splurge on our 10 year anniversary.
40. Save $10 for each accomplished task and spend it on something extravagant.

June 20, 2017

Happy Birthday Eric Carle! Celebrate with PercyVites!

Happy Summer vacation!
School let out this week and I'm already in love with beach days, trips to get ice cream, and later bedtimes. Losing the rigorous schedule of school, homework, and after school activities like speech, dance, and grading work is always a welcome respite (but to be honest, I end up missing it quickly! What can I say - I love structure!). As an English Language Arts teacher though, I never give up reading.  My kids do it for fun (gasp! right?!) because it's just so important to me.

One of our favorite authors is Eric Carle and his birthday is this weekend, June 25th! In an effort to make reading a fun past time, we decided to host an Eric Carle birthday party and invite over some of our best friends to celebrate with us!

I've written about Percyvites before so I went right back to them for this as well!

PercyVites makes it easy to organize online invitations to send to your friends and their Eric Carle collection was just what we needed!

They are super easy to create, filling in pieces step by step with the party information and recipients. PercyVites even helps you keep track of responses!

We've got a bunch of friends who will be joining us and we even made some delicious Eric Carle inspired desserts for the occasion- seriously, what's a birthday party without cake?!

We also grabbed some easy decorations from - the Eric Carle / Hungry Caterpillar decopac was perfect to top our cupcakes!

And as if that's not enough, we're planning a trip to the Eric Carle Museum this summer! I love a good adventure and anything that ties literacy into fun is perfect for us!

I'm so excited to celebrate this weekend-- how will you be celebrating Eric Carles birthday?

xo, Heather

June 13, 2017

Emma's 5 Year Old Interview

What is your name?
How old are you?
When is your birthday?
June thurteenth.
What is your favorite color?
Maybe pink or purple.
What is your favorite food?
Who is your best friend?
What is your favorite song?
Dancing through the fiiiiiire (complete with hand motions)
What is your favorite show?
Creative Galaxy
What is your favorite animal?
A giraffe.
What are you scared of?
I'm scared of .... remember the burgens in Trolls? I'm scared of that.
What makes you happy?
Playing outside with my mama.
Where is your favorite place to go?
To Acushnet Creamery
What do you want to be when you grow up?
A vet to help baby animals.

June 12, 2017

Cheers to the Summer: Teacher Gift

The school year is winding down and I always find myself wondering what to get the teachers.
As a teacher there are some things that I know I'd love to get: gift cards to Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, gift cards to Amazon, or a gift card to a book store... but I also hate giving gift cards because they're so impersonal.

I prefer doing something a bit more memorable.

How cute, right? And who doesn't love the tongue in cheek comment about the year being over!

I used plastic mason jar tumblers (similar found at these affiliate links: single, 3 pack, or a 4 pack) and some ribbon we had in our craft corner. Then grabbed some individual Crystal Light packets (buy them from Amazon through this affiliate link here) and split them between the containers.

I've even added the printable below so all you have to do is download it, and when you go to print, set it to 4x6 size on some heavy cardstock! Have your kid sign their name and it's ready to go!

Who will you be gifting them to this year?

xo, Heather

June 9, 2017

Peanut Butter Cup No Bake Cheesecake

David's birthday always comes right after Tyler's and after Tyler's birthday doughnuts, his birthday cake, and then his birthday party cake... we were caked out.

David is a huge fan of peanut butter cups so I grabbed whatever ingredients I had and ran to the store to grab the rest to surprise him with the most delicious and decadent cheesecake pie for his birthday!

It's super easy and took us only about 15 minutes to make. Another hour in the fridge and it was ready!

Store bought Oreo pie crust
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounces whipped topping (I used Low Fat Cool Whip, but making your own is delicious too!)
3 cups peanut butter cups chopped, divided
1/2 cup Hot fudge

1. Cream cream cheese and sugar together. Add in peanut butter and vanilla and beat until well mixed.
2. Fold in Cool Whip until all mixed.
3. Unwrap and chop all 3 cups of peanut butter cups. Fold in 2 cups to the mixture.
4. Spread into pie crust.
5. Top with remaining chopped peanut butter cups.
6. Drizzle hot fudge over the top and place in fridge until set.

It was so delicious and David loved it!
So what are you going to make it for?

xo, Heather

40 in 4 - Thanks Corona

I know my 40 in 4 won't end completely successfully, especially since coronavirus has shut down so much of what I wanted to do (goodbye ...


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