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    Food & Drink

    Rosemary Pear Mocktail + Party Recipe Printable

    The days of ordering cocktails are so close I can almost taste them! I really love mixed drinks…I love the originality of them, I love garnishing them, making them look beautiful, and I just love holding them. They add such an air of elegance. I imagine Jay Gatsby had amazing craft cocktails at his parties, with hand cut ice cubes you could see through and no one was asking anyone if they wanted “white or red?”. This is why, for me, being able to have an occasional glass of wine over the course of 9 months doesn’t always cut it. Yes, it goes marvelously with a cheese plate and there’s certainly a place in my heart for that but it just LOOKS kind of boring, especially at a party. While I’m not cutting my own perfectly clear ice cubes over here I did find a solution! This Pear Rosemary mocktail fits the bill wonderfully. It’s sweet enough but the ginger beer allows for a spice that kind of mimics the kick of liquor – it’s not overwhelmingly too sweet and most importantly – it’s garnishable!

    This recipe is also a great baby shower beverage option. I’ve used it multiple times and will add a bottle of champagne next to the mix just in case our not pregnant friends want to really get wild and add a bit on top. The easiest way to execute it for a party is mix the simple syrup, lemon juice and pear juice as the mixer, keep the ginger beer on the side and let people make their own. I’ll also add a plate of sugar and a small bowl of lemon juice to the side so people can sugar the rim.

    It’s great because it adds a fun activity to the party that doesn’t feel cheesy or forced.

    To make things extra festive I have a downloadable sign below that you can print out and add next to the set up so people know what to do. There are two versions – one with the option of a wine floater and one that
    keeps it simple (no wine option).

    For a single drink:

    sugar for the rim

    lemon wedges to rugar rim

    2 Tbs lemon juice

    4 Tbs pear juice

    1 Tbs Rosemary Simple Syrup

    6 Tbs ginger beer

    Rosemary and Pear slices to garnish

    To make the rosemary simple syrup: put equal parts sugar and water in a pot with a few sprigs of rosemary on medium heat. Stir occasionally and allow the sugar to melt. Once the sugar has melted, turn off heat and let the rosemary infuse until syrup has cooled.

    For a party you can easily multiply it out but heres a starting point

    To make the mixer for approx 40 beverages (15-20 people):

    5 cups lemon juice

    10 cups pear juice

    2.5 cups rosemary simple syrup

    ** generally I will start with the lemon juice, add about 8 cups of pear juice and taste it from there. depending on what brands you buy and personal taste, the ratio may be different**

    **for big batches like this I usually buy the lemon juice rather than squeezing dozens of lemons but that’s up to you!”

    Party Mocktail Station Set Up:

    Recipe print out

    Mixer in a pitcher

    Bottles of ginger beer (I usually assume 3-4 drinks can be made per bottle if you are using cocktail glasses or the small clear plastic disposable cups for a party)

    Bowl of lemon juice for the rim

    ** depending on the size of the party you could also leave lemon wedges to use instead of dipping the rim in lemon juice**

    Small plate with sugar for the rim

    Ice bucket

    Extra rosemary and pear slices for garnishing

    And thats about it! Obviously it’s also a huge crowd pleaser among the kids…Margot was so excited about it while I was taking photos I had to give her a taste…for about 2 seconds…until she almost dropped my favorite cocktail glass that isn’t made anymore…But let me tell you, she LOVED it.

     

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    Family, Travel

    Florida Family Vacation

    Last week we spent 6 days in my favorite way; no agenda & all play time. We built sand castles to knock down, paddle boarded as the sun rose, chased crabs into their homes, and I had my fair share of mocktails.

    You’d think after living the first 14 years of my life in Florida that I wouldn’t forget fundametal things like how the heat & humidity smack you right in the face when you go outside…especially in JULY….but turns out I forget every. single. time. and every single time I’m left wondering why on earth I brought a hoodie “just in case” (true confessions of a shameless over-packer) I also packed 6 swimsuits and only wore three of them, but that’s neither here nor there.

    Thankfully, the Atlantic is just right and with the long Florida tides we were able to spend all day in the shallow water. Margot, you had a ball and you loved catching up with cousin Jack – you still ask for him to come play at home *break my heart*. You learned about jellyfish, boogie-boards, and watched Mullet jump in the water. You fed catfish some french fries and ate calamari for the first time (which you LOVED).  You slept like a dream from spending all day in the sun and first thing you would say each morning was “I wan pay Dack ou-sigh!” (translation: “I want to play with Jack outside!”) At least once a day you would wander back up to the house, stand under the outdoor shower and wait until we came to turn it on – I’m assuming you wanted to cool down and once you did you would run back down to the beach to play. I love that you are adventurous and unafraid to wander, sometimes we would let you walk  just to see how far you would go – we found out it was uncomfortably far & always had to come get you!

    Lastly, I have decided that I want to be better about making home videos! I have loads of little videos on my phone and computer but never get around do doing anything with them – So here is Hollar family video #1 with hopefully many more to come 🙂

    Song: Anywhere we go // Kaptan

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    DIY, Family, Home

    Margot’s Playset!

    When we first moved into our house we knew that having a playset for Margot was a huge priority. Especially with me being pregnant, I don’t always have energy to get to the park and I don’t foresee that changing when the newborn comes along! I scoured the internet and pinterest for playsets but I kept finding that the only ones I really liked were custom built. We played out the logistics of building our own playset but when it came down to it, it just wasn’t really worth it for us. Julian is pretty good at building things but between weatherproofing all the wood first, planning out a design, cutting all the pieces just right, etc; it didn’t seem easily feasible (and we didn’t want this to be a project going on for months). Next we looked further into the pre-fab options that I liked… and all I can say is; holy cow, I had no idea how much a playset could cost! So, he told me that if I could find a pre-fab playset that I liked that was a reasonable price, we could customize it however I wanted. As it turns out that was a great idea! it was a total win/win for everyone including our pocketbook! I also had a lot of fun planning out changes I wanted to make and seeing them make such a big difference! It ended up looking more like a play house than an actual play set which I really love! . I have had a lot of questions about it so I thought I’d do a quick post with the details and changes we made 🙂

    Don’t mind the avocado stain on her shirt and dirt all over her knees…she’s a messy kid.

    This is the playset we used

    Online they have it listed for $1299.99 but in the store they were selling it for $999. So definitly worth looking into getting it at your local store.

    • We didn’t instal the front slide. This was mainly began as space issue rather than a problem with it aesthetically, however I really ended up liking how it looks more like a little house. -We then blocked off the opening with extra wood we had, it doesn’t matter if the wood matches if you are going to be painting it anyway.
    • The most obvious alteration: We painted it white – Julian and his dad used a paint sprayer to make it a bit easier and we painted everything except the door.
    • We Removed all of the green window accents and added wood crossbeams to the large upstairs window and the opening where the slide would have been. I stained them to match the door.
    • I changed the door handle to a more modern gold handle that I had left over from our kitchen cabinet remodel.
    • Spray painted the bell gold and moved to to the side of the door instead of on top.
    • Didn’t install the A-frame molding about the door or the flags above the slide- I still have a plan to put a real flag on there but I haven’t quite gotten there yet.
    • One of my favorite changes that we made was moving the grill set to the side. We thought it would be more fun (since the slide was gone) to use the spot the grill was supposed to go as a serving station/open window.
      • To do that we cut a 1×8 piece of wood to fit and used shelf brackets under to hold it in place. I had some marble contact paper on hand so I jazzed up the shelf with that. It seems to be fairing well even with the sprinklers! (More photos below)

    • Since our playset backs right up to some bushes (with just enough room to climb) I wasn’t all that concerned with aesthetics of the rock wall BUT if yours was in the middle of the yard and you wanted something other than the green, yellow, and red ones it comes with, you could look into getting some better looking climbing rocks, I know they sell grey ones etc. Just another idea!
    • Because of my obsession with plants I planted some vines at each corner – my hope is that it will eventually look like a magical fairytale forrest tree house. But thats still TBD. I also hung a little airplant at the “serving area” just by screwing in a hook.
    • Instead of putting the hanging bar between the swings we put our baby swing, which would only be a necessary change if you have a baby, of course.
    • Lastly, I made the upstairs fun by adding some bunting along the top, an outdoor rug and some pillows.
    • I looked into painting the slide so it wasn’t yellow but came up with no good ideas so yellow it is! I actually ended up kind of liking the pop of color but would still be open to something more mellow like a grey…If you come across any options that don’t involve buying a whole new slide- let me know 🙂

    And that’s it! The painting was a labor of love but most of those customizations were really easy and didn’t require a ton of effort. If you guys are putting it together yourself definitely plan on needing a couple or 3 days to get the whole job done – but you can do it!

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