There is nothing better than this time of the year!
Happy throwback Thursday! I’m throwing it back to a very yummy recipe-S’mores Dip!!
S’mores Dip is a must try recipe this fall season! Bring on the chocolate, marshmallow, and graham crackers!
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
- 15 jumbo marshmallows, halved
- Graham cracker squares
- Adjust rack to center position of oven and place 8-inch cast iron skillet or regular frying pan on rack. Preheat oven to 450°F with skillet inside. Once preheated, use a pot holder to remove the hot skillet from the oven.
- Place pat of butter in the skillet and coat the bottom and sides. Pour chocolate chips in an even layer into the bottom.
- Arrange marshmallow halves over the chocolate chips, covering the chocolate completely.
- Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until marshmallows are toasted to your liking.
- Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes. Serve immediately with graham cracker squares.
Fall- my favorite season of them all! We are TWO days away from the start of the season and every year, there are several things I MUST do before it ends, so here is my fall bucket list:
- Tailgate at a football game.
- Go apple picking.
- Buy school supplies.
- Watch Halloween movies.
- Decorate with tons of pumpkins and DIY fall crafts.
- Travel through the mountains to see the leaves.
- Visit the county fair.
- Carve a pumpkin.
- Make an apple pie, apple butter, apple pie, and homemade apple sauce. (Can you tell I like apples…alot?)
- Stuff myself during the holidays.
- Go on a hayride.
- Eat s’mores at a bonfire.
- Wear a hoodie, while snuggling up with a cup of hot chocolate.
It’s fall, y’all!
Today is the last day of our Christmas in July extravaganza! Grab your family together and create a new tradition, all while enjoying some festive holiday tunes.
A Book A Day
Place 24 wrapped books under the Christmas tree. These books can relate to the meaning of the holiday, favorites of your children, or any type of book you would like. Starting December 1 and going through the 24th, unwrap one of the books each night. Have fun and be creative with this exciting tradition!
Favorite Holiday Songs
Add some Christmas music to your holiday with some of my favorites.
1. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
2. “O Holy Night”
3. “The Christmas Song”
4. “White Christmas”
5. “Christmas in Dixie”
Until next time, have a fantastic Christmas in July! Seems the perfect time to say “Mele Kalikimaka!”
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” continued from Tuesday.
I’ll Be Home for Christmas
One night, as we were decorating the Christmas tree, I couldn’t take it anymore. This was always a tradition my family did together and without Russell, I wanted nothing to do with it. “Why can’t we find anything out about Russell?” Are you sure you contacted everyone you could think of for information?” I exclaimed, out of anger. “Lizzy, your mother and I are doing everything we can. The least you can do is be supportive and keep up hope,” stated my father. “It’s hard to keep up hope. It’s easier to have doubt. I’m going up to my room and the two of you can keep decorating,” I said, disappointed with his response. “Lizzy, please don’t,” my mother began to say, but a knock on the front door interrupted her.
“Who do you think it could be, Bill?” my mother weakly asked. All of our hearts were pounding out of our chests, wondering who stood on the other side of the door. One by one, with my father in the lead, we walked to the door and slowly opened it. “Are you Mr. Dillard?” a man in an Army uniform asked. “Yes, yes I am,” my father replied, nervously. “Here, I have an important letter for you. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas,” he said as he passed the letter to my family. As quickly as he came, the uniformed man went. Not knowing what to do, my family stood there like statues in a museum. “Open it Bill! Don’t just look at it!” shouted my mother.
Very slowly the letter was torn open. As he began reading, my father’s eyes grew ten times bigger. “It’s…it’s from Russell!” Jumping with enthusiasm, my mother grabbed the letter and shouted “Safe! He is safe! Russell is safe!” Hearing the news was the best thing I could ask for. “What else does the letter say, Mom?” I asked. “It says he is safe and an Italian family has taken him and a few other soldiers into their home, after their plane was shot down. They are keeping them in hiding, otherwise they would be taken as prisoners of war. All that matters is that he is safe,” my mother said as she squealed with excitement.
After hearing the happy news, my family gained a little bit more Christmas spirit and together, we finished decorating the tree. From then on, my family kept receiving letters from Russell; however, we couldn’t write back, because it was too risky. Between letters, I kept reading the old ones over and over again until I could recite them from memory. All I wanted for Christmas was for him to be home, but I knew that was impossible.
Within no time, Christmas Eve was here. As always, my family went to the Christmas Eve Lovefeast service at our church. Right as we were pulling out of the driveway, it began to snow. “There’s nothing like a white Christmas, don’t you think?” said my mother. There was something different about the evening, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. “Oh well,” I thought, “tonight is Christmas Eve and I’m not going to let anything bother me.”
I loved everything about the Christmas Eve Lovefeast service. From singing “Morning Star” to eating the Lovefeast buns, the service officially signaled to me that Christmas had begun. By the time we left church, the snow had picked up and the ground was covered in a blanket of white. “Almost two inches deep and more is going to fall by morning,” my father said as he observed the sky. Sometimes I believed my father could tell the weather better than anyone.
Once we got home, we built a fire, and opened the traditional only one present on Christmas Eve. Still, there was something strange about the night, but I still couldn’t figure it out. Once the Christmas Eve traditions were done, there was one more thing to do. “Does everyone want hot chocolate? Bill, make sure the fire is going strong and Lizzy, make sure the lights are turned down,” my mother said from the kitchen. The Dillard family always watched the snow fall from the living room window and drank hot chocolate by the light of the Christmas tree before going to bed.
We had only watched the snow fall for about 10 minutes when a jeep pulled into our driveway. Oddly, it was Russell’s jeep. Thoughts began to run through my head, but I quickly pushed them aside, thinking there was no way he could have gotten home. From where I was sitting, I couldn’t see the person walking up to the front door. Instead of knocking, the mysterious person began to sing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
Glancing between the window and my parents, I realized the jeep actually was Russell’s and he was the mysterious person. “Run and open the door,” exclaimed my mother as her and my father stood there, smiling with joy. As excited as I could be, I opened the door and saw Russell, standing there in his Army uniform, singing the last note of the song as loud as he could.
“Russell! Russell! You are home!” I said as I jumped into his arms, knocking him down. “What? How?” I exclaimed as a million questions began to surface. “Lizzy! Lizzy! Let me come inside and tell you,” Russell replied to my incomplete thoughts. “It’s good to see you!” both of my parents said as they greeted their son. “Tell me how! Tell me how!” I blurted out, breaking up their reunion.
Before Russell began, my parents showed me a letter they had kept hidden from me. “You knew he was coming home and you didn’t tell me?” “Lizzy,” my parents said, “we wanted this to be a Christmas surprise for you.” In his letter, Russell said he was coming home for Christmas, but in order to leave, he had to pretend he wasn’t an US citizen until he got back to base. Getting back to base wasn’t easy, but Russell was able to make it there safely.
“But how did you get your jeep?” I asked. “While you were at church, a neighbor drove me home from the train station and I got it then. Mom and Dad helped me plan the whole welcome home surprise, once I got back to base. ‘Operation Lizzy’s Christmas Present’ was what we called it. Keeping it a surprise from you wasn’t so easy,” answered Russell.
As I raced towards my brother, I began to list all of the old traditions we still needed to do. “Ok, ok. We’ll do them,” he said, “but where to begin?” I thought about this for a moment, and then pulled Russell out the door and to his jeep. “It’s time to go caroling,” I said. With our parents waving from the door, Russell and I started our annual caroling trip through town.
As we pulled up to the front house, Russell looked over at me and said “Told you in my letters I would be home for Christmas.”
The Christmas of 1944 became a Christmas I never forgot.
It’s time for some decorations and food fun for our Christmas in July!
Wooden dowel rods
White Styrofoam circles
Red glitter glue
1: Press a Styrofoam circle into the top of a wooden dowel.
2: Decorate similar to a peppermint.
Fun to place around a house, office space, and more!
Wooden dowel rods
1: Crush the peppermints in a ziplock bag. Place one marshmallow onto the bottom end of a wooden dowel.
2: Melt the chocolate, in either the microwave or onto of the stove, and dip the marshmallows.
3: Roll the marshmallows into the peppermint and let harden. You can place in the refrigerator, if needed to quicken hardening.
Today is the first day of our week-long celebration of Christmas in July! There’s going to be ideas for food, decorations, and more. Below is a quick rundown for the week:
Tuesday- “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” Part I Story
Wednesday- Decoration and Food Ideas
Thursday- “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” Part II Story
Friday- Gift and Music Ideas
Trust me, you don’t want to miss the fun! To get us started, enjoy one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams.
It’s day two of our 4th of July celebration! Have fun with your family and friends with this easy craft and patriotic music!
Craft: Star Bowl
- Old Book Pages
- Mod Podge
- White Tissue Paper
- Red Paint
- Hot Glue
- Blue Ribbon
1. Cut random size stars from old book pages.
2. Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the outside of the bowl, lay down the stars, then add top-coat of Mod Podge.
3. Add stars until the bowl is covered.
4. Cut the tissue paper into small squares. Apply two layers of tissue paper to the outside of the bowl. Then add two coats of red paint to the outside of the bowl. Allow to dry.
5. Apply more stars to the outside of the of the bowl using the same method as above. Apply two top-coats of Mod Podge to the outside. Hot glue a piece of trim around the outer edge.
- “The Star Spangled Banner”
- “America the Beautiful”
- “God Bless the USA”
- “Born in the USA”
- “You’re a Grand Ole Flag”
The 4th of July is right around the corner. As one of my favorite holidays, I thought I would share with y’all a little bit on how I’m celebrating, starting with decorations, food, and a game. Check back tomorrow for the final additions to the party!
Decorations: Red, White, and Blue Banner
- Red, White, and Blue Bandannas
- Hot Glue
1. Cut the bandannas into triangles or rectangles (whatever shape you desire).
2. Hot glue the tops of the shapes onto the twine and hang inside or outside.
Food: Red, White, and Blue Parfaits
- 1 (3 oz) package of strawberry gelatin
- 1 cup of boiling water
- ½ cup cold water
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
- ¼ cup cold water
- 1 tablespoon (1 envelope) of unflavored gelatin powder
- ½ cup boiling water
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup vanilla ice cream, liquefied
- ¼ cup cold water
- 1 tablespoon (1 envelope) of unflavored gelatin powder
- ½ cup boiling water
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 ½ cups blueberries
- 6 Mason Jars
- Whipped Cream
Strawberry layer: Stir 1 cup of boiling water into the strawberry gelatin until gelatin is fully dissolved. Add in ½ cup of cold water and the chopped strawberries.
1. Arrange the jars at an angle in a muffin tin.
2. Put flour or uncooked rice in the wells to hold the jars in place. Gently spoon equal amounts of the strawberry gelatin mixture into each of the jars. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes.
White layer: Once the strawberry gelatin is firm, begin making the white ice cream layer. In a medium bowl, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the unflavored gelatin evenly over 1/4 cup of cold water (allow the gelatin to absorb the water for 2 minutes). Then, stir in ½ cup of boiling water until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Mix in ½ cup of sugar, then stir in 1 cup of the melted ice cream until smooth
1. With the jars still at an angle in the muffin tin, spoon equal amounts of the ice cream mixture into each of the jars.
2. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Blueberry layer: Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of unflavored gelatin evenly over 1/4 cup of cold water in a bowl. Wait 2 minutes to allow the gelatin to absorb the water. Add in ½ cup of boiling water. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved and then mix in ½ cup of sugar. Lastly, add the 1 ½ cup of blueberries.
1. Refrigerate the blueberry mixture in the bowl until it thickens to the consistency of a gel .
2. Take the jars out of the muffin tin and set them upright.
3. Spoon equal amounts of the blueberry mixture into each of the jars. Refrigerate until firm.
4. Garnish with whipped cream and serve.
Game: Test Your Patriotic Knowledge!
Quiz your friends on their Patriotic Knowledge. Person to get the most right wins. (Answers below.)
1. What is the capital of Colorado?
2. The Mardi Gras celebration is held in the French Quarter of where?
3. Which state became the 50th state, admitted on August 21, 1959?
4. Name the six states that make up New England.
5. Coca-Cola was founded in which capital city?
6. Which state capital name means “protected bay?”
7. Which state is famous for earthquakes?
8. What state is known for having crocodiles?
9. Also known as Mary Hayes McCauley, what woman carried water to men in the Battle of Monmouth during the Revolutionary War in 1778?
10. Who was the leader of the Underground Railroad, which brought many slaves to freedom?
Answers: 1. Denver 2. New Orleans 3. Hawaii 4. Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island 5. Atlanta, Georgia 6. Honolulu, Hawaii 7. California 8. Florida 9. Molly Pitcher 10. Harriet Tubman
Quiz Copyright 2015 Country Belle Chic
Ah, summer-the time to break out the swimsuit, flip flops, and the traditions. Every year, there are certain things I have to do, otherwise it wouldn’t be the season. Below are the ten things on my summer bucket list:
1. Take a walk on the beach.
2. Spend a day on the lake.
3. Have a backyard camping trip.
4. Play messy twister with paint (tomorrow’s post will tell you how).
5. Go star gazing and watch fireworks on the 4th of July.
6. Make homemade ice cream and can vegetables for next year.
7. Spend a day volunteering.
8. Build a sandcastle.
9. Make s’mores in a bonfire.
10. Spend a day at an amusement park.