my life homemade


Mini Caprese Salad Bites

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #Chardonnation #NotableSummer #CollectiveBias.

(Msg 4 21+) It is summer here in North Texas and sometimes it can be down right miserable with the summer sun and Texas heat. That is why I absolutely love when the sun starts to set and the evening breeze blows in. It means I can head outside and relax on the patio with my loved ones and just enjoy the rest of the day. I will turn on our blue tooth speaker to enjoy some music, grab a few wine glasses and a bottle of Notable's Oaky & Buttery Chardonnay or Notable's Fruity & Crisp Chardonnay. Plus, I love throwing together these mini caprese salad bites to enjoy on a hot summer night.  

The mini caprese salad bites are so simple and easy to throw together for a perfect summer treat. I used my backyard garden for the fresh basil and tomatoes and added in the mozzerella to create this twist to a classic salad that I cannot get enough of. Plus, when paired with Notable's Oaky & Buttery Chardonnay or Notable's Fruity & Crisp Chardonnay. it makes for a fantastic summer evening on the patio. 


  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Fresh Mozzerella Cheese bites
  • Fresh Basil Leaves
  • Olive Oile
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Wood Skewers/Cocktail Forks
How to Make:

1. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil and balsamic vinegar together. I didn't measure, just poured a few tablespoons, enough to cover the tomatoes.

2. Toss the tomatoes in the oil mix until completely covered. Set aside.

3. Grab a handful of fresh basil. I just grabbed some from our backyard garden, but grocery store basil works great too.

4. Using your skewers or wood forks, slide a mozzerella cheese bite on to the skewer, then follow with a single basil leaf. Finish with a round cherry tomato. Tip: Once tomato is attached to skewer, hold top of skewer, flip to side, and gently slice the bottom of the tomato so the bottom is flat.

5. Place each skewer bite onto a plate and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and serve with a refreshing glass of Notable's Oaky & Buttery Chardonnay or Notable's Fruity & Crisp Chardonnay.

DIY Wood Serving Tray

Create a simple DIY wood tray to serve your mini caprese salad bites by grabbing a piece of wood. I used a thick 2in x 18in piece of wood that I had laying around. I stained with my favorite wood stain and let dry at least 24 hours. I opted to not attach handles to the top sides of the wood to give it a sleeker look for the table. To finish out the tray, simply add some sticky felt rounds to the bottom to protect your surfaces. I sealed my wood with a waterproof sealant to protect from liquid stains and food.

How simple is that! This makes a wonderful addition to your table, brunch, party, or get together. I made my tray with items I already had on hand but can be easily made with just a few simple items available at any hardware store.

Notable is the 1st wine that highlights the flavor profiles on the front of the bottle, helping make the wine aisle a less confusing place. Wines vary in style, region, and taste, yet most labels don’t define the delightful flavor you’re about to sip. So when a wine showcases its taste prominently on the front label, it can lead you to the wine you wantAll you have to do is follow the flavor notes!

So, what are you waiting for? Head outside tonight so you too can relax and enjoy your summer evenings with a glass of Notable's Oaky & Buttery Chardonnay or Notable's Fruity & Crisp Chardonnay and these delicious mini caprese salad bites.


Host the Perfect Outdoor Family Game Night

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #ServeWithACoke #CollectiveBias

With the warmer weather here, my boys love being outside and I thought that it would be perfect to host an outdoor family game night complete with food, drinks, games, and lots of fun. Hosting an outdoor family game night does not have to be complicated or expensive. With some great ideas from Dollar General, Coca-Cola products and Tombstone pizza, you can host the perfect outdoor family game night with just 5 simple tips. 

So, what are you waiting for? Head outside to find the perfect spot and follow these tips and ideas on how you can host an outdoor family game night complete with dinner. 

Tip #1: Drinks

It's hot outside and you'll definately need some drinks and Coca-Cola™ will do the trick! It's a great drink to add to any meal and the perfect addition to our game night. So, grab some glasses, fill with ice, and serve up some refreshing Coca-Cola™. Add in some fun straws to make it extra special.

Tip #2: Games

What's a game night without games! Grab all your favorite games. Yes, all of them! Have everyone pick out a favorite game, or two, and bring them outside. It'll be fun playing different games opposed to just one and it will make the night last longer.

Tip #3: Pizza

The trick to a fun night is full tummies. No one wants a hangry game player. Serve up some Tombstone pizza to keep everyone fueled up and ready to keep playing games all night long. The best time to serve the pizza? Play a game or two, then serve your pizza to take a little break. Then get right back to game play.

Tip #4: Decor

Decor makes the party or in this case game night. Anyone can have a game night, but to host the perfect game night you need decorations. They don't have to complicated. Just use things you already have around the house. I used a picnic blanket as a tablecloth because its durable and can handle spills and drapped it over folding card table. Grabbed fun striped straws to use, and even broke out a fun blue swirl platter for the pizza. I plugged in the patio lights and and turned up the music to add to our fun.

It also helps if you have covering over your outdoor patio or game play area and a small table with some chairs. Although, a family game night picnic style sounds pretty awesome!

Tip #5: Family

Gather your family and head outdoors to enjoy the perfect family night. However, no matter what games you have or decor options you have to choose from, as long as you have your family together, that sounds like the perfect family night to me.

Are you ready to host your outdoor family game night? To get everything for our outdoor game night, I picked up all the essentials at Dollar General. Coca-Cola™ in the 1.25L size and Tombstone Pizza helped make our game night a night to remember without breaking the bank. 

Can you believe our dinner was under $5.00? Be sure to get your digital coupon HERE to get $1.00 off when you by Tombstone pizza and one 1.25L of any Coca-Cola product. Make everyone happy tonight for under $5 with Dollar General Easy Meals.


Simple Fourth of July Centerpieces

Fourth of July is just around the corner and we are ready for all the fun and excitement. Especially the fireworks! While we wait for the big day to come, we are getting the house patriotic ready by creating these simple fourth of July centerpieces.


  • Patriotic Vases or containers (I used lanterns)
  • Mini flags
  • Fourth of July decor decor (decorative pens or pencils work great)
  • Flowers in red, white, or blue 


1. Simply cut your flowers to fit in your containers.
2. Add your fourth of July decor.
3. Display proudly for your fourth of July centerpieces.

They are so simple to make with help from the dollar section at our local Target and beautiful flowers from the grocery store. All my pieces for the centerpieces came from Target including the lanterns. Surprisingly, the puff balls and streamers are just pens. The flowers came from the grocery store and were a really good price. Simple and budget friendly decorations that make a big impact!

Happy Fourth of July to everyone!!!!


17 Positively Patriotic 4th of July Activities for Kids

{Jordan S. ~ Contributing Blogger} Independence Day is arriving soon, and many families are looking for the perfect patriotic activities to do with their kids. There are so many suggestions for fun activities, it’s sometimes difficult to know where to start. That’s why we put together a list of our 17 most favorite patriotic activities that we’re confident will be fun for your children and the whole family.
Patriotic Clothing and Accessories

1. Red, White, and Blue Headbands
Some of the best activities are done with recycled materials. That’s one reason we love these patriotic headbands. Not only are they easy to make for most age groups, but they are also a clever way to upcycle old shirts into fun and comfortable wearable headpieces. Just cut some old red, white, and blue shirts into strips and braid them together. For some extra pizzazz, bedazzle them with some precious gemstone beads.

2. Patriotic Necklaces
This patriotic necklace craft is cheap to make and easy to do. Just gather some thin yarn or string, red, white, and blue pony beads or plastic straws, and let the kids have fun. This is another project perfect for kids of any age, and it gives them a great patriotic item to wear on the 4th.

Sometimes we like to take our designs to the next level and do flag seed bead necklaces instead. All you need for these are some one-inch headpins, silver metallic braid wire, and a needle nose pliers. These necklaces are whimsical for parents and children alike.

3. Beaded Patriotic Bracelets
Bracelets are another great patriotic activity for kids. A very simple patterned bracelet activity uses only pipe cleaners and pony beads. What I like about these bracelets is that the pony beads can be swapped for candy beads. Just replace the pipe cleaner with string. When done with candy beads, even the boys will enjoy them.

Depending on your child’s motor skills, they might enjoy the challenge of a layered bead bracelet. These layered bracelets are a little trendier and can be done with gemstone beads to add timeless style.

4. Patriotic Beaded Fringe Shirts
Shirts are another great activity that allows you to recycle old clothes. Red, white, and blue tie-dye is a classic shirt recycling technique, but why not spruce those up a bit with some beaded fringe. Beaded fringe shirts are stylish and a terrific way to rejuvenate shirts your kids lost interest in. Just cut the bottom of a shirt into strips and slip red, white, and blue beads through the strips. Knot the end of the strip, and you’re done.

5. American Flag Bead Pin  
American Flag Safety Pins are something we love to make to give to friends and family. It’s easy and fun for kids of most ages. Depending on the age of your child, you might want to consider clipping the sharp tip of the pins before letting them play around with them. However, once you have them clipped, you only need some red, white, and blue seed beads and large safety pins for this project. Grandma will love wearing this pin, and they are a great accessory to wear from Flag Day all the way to the 4th of July.

 6. American Flag Hairbow
An American flag hairbow is another fantastic activity for your child. All you need for this box is a small, decorative type American flag, a small hobby clip, and the general know-how about how to fold a bow.

Patriotic Table Decorations

 7. Beaded Napkin Rings and Skewers
Napkin Rings and Skewers are another good activity to share with your kids. You can make patriotic napkin rings the same way you would make a stretch bead bracelet. Just find the appropriate color beads, some elastic string, and make the bracelet. Roll a napkin into a funnel and slip the bracelet around it.

Patriotic skewer sticks can also be made using the same beads. Just find some bamboo skewers and glue red, white, and blue beads to the top of each. Let the glue dry and use for drink mixers or kebab sticks.

8. Twine Wrapped Mason Jars
These twine wrapped mason jars are another way to make something fun with recycled materials, and they make a great table decoration for the 4th of July. Just gather a glue gun, some old spaghetti jars, twine, some seed beads, and beading wire and get to work. Add some flags or button flowers inside the mason jars for a little extra flair.

9. American Flag Coasters
Perler beads are always fun for kids. Adults love them, too, because they are not messy to play with and are easy to clean up after. So, why not make some American Flag perler beads and let the company use them for coasters. It’s a terrific way to keep the kids happy, and they will save your furniture from water rings.

There is also a way to make American Flag Coasters using a plastic canvas and yarn if you are so inclined.

10. Patriotic Tree Centerpiece
A wire tree is a fun activity for you and the kids, and it makes an elegant centerpiece for the dinner table. Just string the wires around a rock for your kids, and let them decorate the branches with red, white, and blue beads. Hang some beads from strings to give it a weeping willow look. This is a cool decoration for almost any occasion. Use some precious gemstone beads on this wire tree and keep it in your living room all year long.

Miscellaneous Activities

11. American Flag Bead Magnet
This is another fun activity for all those pony beads, and it gives parents a keepsake to hang on the fridge. To make the American flag bead magnet, just gather some popsicle sticks, glue, and magnets then string up some red, white, and blue beads to resemble an American flag. Attach the magnet to the back of the popsicle stick and proudly display on the refrigerator.

12. American Flag Keychain
Making an American Flag Keychain is a fun activity and makes a great gift for someone your child loves. It’s also another wonderful use for the red, white, and blue pony beads you already have lying around.

Alternatively, you can just make a simple bead American flag peyote stitch without the keychain accessory.

13. Patriotic Map of the United States
Since part of the purpose of Independence Day is to celebrate the our Nation it’s also a great time to educate people about the United States, why not make a cork board map as an interactive learning tool. This cork board map of the United States can be easily printed online, is fun to assemble, and provides your kids with an opportunity to learn about each state.

14. Patriotic Picture Frame
This red, white, and blue straw picture frame is another great activity for your kids to give away as a gift or to use to frame someone you love. Also, it’s another activity to do with the materials you already have: patriotic straws, hot glue, and twine.

Patriotic Treats

15. Patriotic Popsicles
By the 4th of July most areas are getting more warm weather. The best thing to keep kids cool in warm weather is popsicles. Therefore, why not involve the kids in making some patriotic popsicles this year with layers of red, white, and blue sports beverage?

16. Graham Cracker American Flags
Another fun and delicious snack for Independence Day is Graham Cracker American Flags. These graham cracker flags are easy to make, and the whole family will love them. Just lightly frost a graham cracker with white frosting, and cover the surface appropriately with blue and red M&Ms. Alternatively, you could substitute the M&Ms for candy beads if you have some left from another project.

17. Patriotic Dipped Pretzels
Patriotic dipped pretzels are a favorite in our family, and they are a healthier alternative than the sugary popsicles and frosted graham cracker treats when substituting the candy melts for colored white chocolate.  
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