Suburban Soiree

Make Your Own Coconut Vanilla Bath Bombs

RecipeAmy WileyComment

I adore a nice, long, hot bath in the evening. It’s really a treat. I use baths to relax, to pray, to unwind and to read. It’s a simple luxury!

Living in Colorado, the air is so dry that you must stay on top of moisturizing your skin. To keep my bath habit from adding to the dryness, I started using bath bombs that left me feeling luxurious and moisterized after my relaxing moments. These high-quality fizzes come with a price tag, so I’ve learned how to make my own. Not only to they save money, they make darling gifts!

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I keep all my bath bomb-making supplies in a handy basket.

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Here’s what you’ll need: citric acid, baking soda, cornstarch, coconut oil, vanilla essential oil, skin-safe food coloring, bath bomb molds, or cupcake liners and sprinkles.

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In a medium-sized bowl mix up:

1 cup citric acid

1 cup baking soda

1/2 cup cornstarch

Melt 1/2 cup of coconut oil and add 12 drops of vanilla essential oil. Add several drops of skin-safe food coloring to the oils. (It won’t really mix.) Slowly mix the oils into the dry mixture. Avoid adding too quickly, or it will start too fizz. You can use your hands to incorporate everything nicely.

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Press the mixture into bath bomb molds or a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners. You can add a few sprinkles to the bottom of one half of the molds before you add the mixture for a fun and festive touch.

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Allow your bath bombs to dry out overnight. Once dried, you can package them in cello bags to give as gifts, or of course use them yourself! The coconut oil not only smells delicious, it does wonders for your skin.

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Happy bathing!

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Beach Bucket Surprise Dessert

Tuesday Treats, Summer, RecipeAmy Wiley2 Comments

I have the most fun, festive summer dessert for you today. You serve it in a beach bucket because it looks like sand… but tastes divine! Dazzle kids and adults alike with this clever treat.

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Isn’t it just the cutest? It’s super simple and delicious. This is the perfect kind of thing to serve at a summer play date, pool party, or barbecue.

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Beach Bucket Surprise Dessert

Ingredients:

One stick butter, softened

1 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

2 small boxes of instant vanilla pudding mix

3 1/2 cups milk

12 oz. Cool Whip, thawed

2 packages of Golden Oreos

White and dark chocolate Melting wafers (my grocer substituted a chocolate baking bar in my online order and it worked just fine.)

Shell molds (like these darling ones)

Cute beach bucket (I had to have this flamingo bucket of course!)

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Start by making your chocolate shells. Melt a little of each chocolate in the microwave then slightly mix a little of the dark into the white. Just barely swirl the two together, then pour into the molds. Put the mold in the refrigerator to harden. I have a random little mold from our local aquarium that I had to use twice to get enough shells. This one would work much better. The swirled effect makes them look more realistic.

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Next, chop cookies very fine in a food processor or blender. This creates the “sand.” The white filling will disappear.

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Cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar together in a mixer. In a large bowl, combine milk, pudding, and Cool Whip. Add the butter mixture and mix well. Layer your beach bucket starting with some of the cookie crumbs, then a layer of the cream mixture. Repeat layers, ending with the cookie crumbs. Stick the sand shovel in and add the chocolate shells. Chill until ready to serve.

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Doesn’t this just look like a day at the beach? Enjoy!

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Crazy for Christmas Challenge: May

Christmas, Crazy for ChristmasAmy WileyComment

Summer is here and it’s time to put on our flip flops and enjoy the outdoors. But first… a teensy bit of Christmas planning to keep us on track.

If you’re new, the Crazy for Christmas Challenge gives you a handful of tasks each 25th of the month to slowly prepare you for a more relaxed, more prepared Christmas season.

Get the challenges the night before they post to the blog AND a free printable each month by email:

Now, for today’s tasks. This month is all about getting a jump on those hard-to-book experiences. The early bird will get the Christmas worm! Let’s get started…

Set the Tone

I love how Beth Moore says mothers set the temperature in the home and not just because we control the thermostat. It’s true, right? Before we dive into putting things on the calendar, we want to make sure we are intentional about what we want the season to feel like for ourselves and our families. This month’s printable is a simple way to keep yourself on track. Take a moment and jot down how you want to feel this Christmas… present? relaxed? energized? festive? unhurried? Make your list and keep it handy in your notebook as you tackle the next step.

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Book Holiday Experiences

Over the years my crazy-lady level of planning has led to some unforgettable memories at the holidays, all because I booked early. I’ve learned the hard way, you have to be ON IT for certain things. Today, decide if some of these things would be a fit for your family. (See above!) If you can, go ahead and make a reservation. If you find out reservations aren’t open yet, make a note in your calendar to call as soon as they open up. I shared some of our favorite traditions a couple of years ago in this post. Below is my list of events you should look for in your city. Please note, these are more of the “Santa” side of Christmas than the religious side. Please know I will offer plenty of suggestions for incorporating the true meaning of Christmas as the months progress. The events I talk about today are just the ones that book out early.

Breakfast with Santa

Hotels, museums and event centers often offer a breakfast with Santa. We love the one at The Brown Palace Hotel in Denver. Each year this event makes me just about actually burst with Christmas cheer. Seriously. Everyone wears their holiday best and dances around to live music. It’s so much fun and never fails to put our Christmas spirit levels over the top. Do a little research in your city, and I’m sure you’ll find something similar. These book up fast, so get your reservation if possible. Check out fancy hotels, museums, or even recreation centers to find one near you.

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The Polar Express Train Ride

We absolutely love riding The Polar Express and it adds so much Christmas magic to the season. We always splurge for the first class tickets and enjoy every drop of our hot chocolate on the train while the kids wear their pajamas. We’ve boarded the Polar Express both in Durango, CO and Denver. We have a nice collection of Christmas mugs we’ve received on the trains over the years. I’m telling you… it’s darling. Check this list to see if the licensed Polar Express is near you. If not, many cities offer some sort of Santa train. My advice is to go for the “real deal” if it’s nearby.

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Local Holiday Attractions

Check out local museums, zoos and botanic gardens for special holiday events. Our botanic garden does a lights event as well as a Santa’s Village. The Denver Zoo does “Zoo Lights.” We have a new Gaylord hotel in our area and I’m going to be checking out their holiday events. These family-friendly activities are worth checking out but often hard to pull off at the last minute due to selling out. Most won’t have tickets available just yet, but find out when they go live so you can write it on your calendar. Then, you’ll have a reminder so you can reserve your preferred date.

Go Shopping

When I say “go” shopping, of course I mean go online and shop in your pajamas! As usual, today you’ll check a few items off your list. Today I’ve rounded up some gifts for ladies and they are all under $50!

SHOP GIFTS HERE

For the men in your life, I recently posted a Father’s Day Gift Guide that can do double duty. Grab a gift for Father’s Day and one to stash away for Christmas.

I hope you have a merry weekend! Join us in the Crazy for Christmas Challenge Facebook Group and share your planning.

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