Moscow Mules + Date Night

If you do one this this weekend . . .

Moscow Mules Cocktail Recipe

 . . .  run to the store and buy some ginger beer. We’re making the ultimate summer cocktail right now. It’s super refreshing. I swear.

I'm talking about some refreshing moscow mules!! Love the combination of the mint, lime and booze ... I could actually get inspired and set the table decor around this color combination!!

Moscow Mules Cocktail Recipe
Moscow Mules Cocktail Recipe
Moscow Mules Cocktail Recipe
Moscow Mules Cocktail Recipe

A couple of weeks ago we were on a family vacation and my brother wanted to make moscow mules . . . so my sister-in-law set out to locate some copper mugs and all the fixins'. Moscow Mules were served and my husband was hooked! When we returned home I was on a mission to locate all the fixins' myself.  We were having Date Night + Moscow Mules + a movie.

Moscow Mules Cocktail Recipe

I don't know about you, but a moscow mule sounds like the perfect way to end the day!!

Moscow Mules Cocktail Recipe

Here is the recipe:

Moscow Mules Cocktail Recipe


Moscow Mules Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients:
* 4½ ounces premium vodka
* 1 ounce of lime juice
* 8 ounces of ginger beer
* slice or two of lime
* about 4-5 fresh spearmint sprigs (chopped if you prefer smaller mint pieces in your cocktail)

Directions: Fill your copper mug with ice cubes. Add the vodka and lime juice and stir. Top with the ginger beer.  Garnish with mint sprigs and if you like crystallized ginger. Makes 2 drinks.

Cheers to a fabulous summer!

Moscow Mules Cocktail Recipe + Date Night

So what is your summer cocktail of choice going to be?

Don't forget to pick the perfect summer movie . . . on sale right now at Target . . . just add the movie to your Cartwheel app! Be sure to pick up other treats as well - check your cartwheel app for any treats.

Adventures Change Everything

Parenting is always an adventure in the making. Just yesterday I took my three little people and one of my son's friends to Six Flags Great America. The lines were long, the wait times were insane, my son and his friend forgot tot text me to let me know where they are and I had a mini panic attack thinking they were lost to me and how was I ever going to tell my friend I had lost her child; when all the while my son and his friend were in an arcade as I was wearing downs paths looking for them both!

Adventures Change Everything

You get what I am saying?? An adventure in the making . . . the kids, all exhausted as we dragged our feet into the house at 11:00 pm last night. By the way, all my kids are still sleeping at 10AM this morning! Hallelujah - hot hot coffee for me!

And today, we are off on another adventure, my little one will be getting her molds taken for the beginnings of the braces journey. My son will be getting a bracket reattached because he was eating sticky candy yesterday at Great America and pulled it off. He has been on this braces adventure since he was 8 . . . he is 13 now, as he frequently reminds me that he is almost able to legally drive?

After the orthodontist adventure we are headed down town to have fun in the sun in the city and then off on a museum adventure tonight. Family membership night at a local museum my family loves. It will be another late night for us.

This summer has been sort of a bust for us since Chicago has been having so much rain. Like, literally, every single day. The past two days it has not rained. There is also not any rain in the forecast today either. Thus my need(and rush) to get in some activities that will involve the sun shining down on us. We are greatly deprived of Vitamin D right now.

Adventures Change Everything #Netflix
Adventures Change Everything #Netflix
Adventures Change Everything #Netflix

Though yesterday was an adventure and today will be an adventure, most days our adventures happen at home. My daughters finally made it out of bed and they plopped themselves right in my chair and turned on Netflix and are finishing their own adventure with Hiccup and toothless. They take some dragon rides each and everyday to watch the all-new Netflix original series :Dragons: Race to the Edge. My girls, along with Hiccup and toothless embark on unparalleled adventures together.

Adventures Change Everything #Netflix
Adventures Change Everything #Netflix

Are your kids fans of Toothless? Since the first movie, How to Train Your Dragon, my middle child my first daughter has been smitten. There is something about Toothless that just speaks to her. She is a Dragon lover and a Dragon Rider at heart.  We have stuffed Toothless, we have plastic Toothless, we have big and little Toothless toys all about our home. She wants Toothless to visit her here in our home. What an adventure that would be!

Dragons: Race to the Edge #Netflix

Dragons: Race to the Edge

Get a first look at the all-new Netflix original.

Dragons: Race to the Edge soars beyond their home on the island of Berk in search of new dragons.Dragons: Race to the Edge introduces some of the most exciting dragons yet, each with its own amazing abilities -- shock waves, cannon balls and fire blasts, just to name a few.

With the magical Dragon Eye, an artifact Hiccup finds aboard an abandoned ship, Hiccup learns there is more outside the confines of Berk, and that a little curiosity and determination can make every day an exciting journey. In Hiccup’s own words, “this changes everything.”

Ready for another adventure?

Dive deeper into the unknown with these picks.

▪ Sofia the First: S1E12, Two to Tangu

▪ Bo on the Go: S1E11, Bo and the Dragon Queen

▪ The Adventures of Puss in Boots: S1E6, Fountains

▪ How to Train Your Dragon 2

▪ National Treasure

▪ Planet Earth

Adventures Change Everything! What adventures are you on this summer?

Disclosure: This post is part of my involvement as a Netflix #StreamTeam Member. All opinions are my own. #NetflixKids Want to learn more about Netflix Streaming? Subscriptions start at $7.99/month. 

Summer ENTERTAINING with Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MeAndMyTea #CollectiveBias

Summer ENTERTAINING with Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea
One of my favorite things about summer is the iced tea. Bigelow Pomegranate Lemonade Iced Tea - simply delicious.

There isn't much that's better than a freshly brewed cold iced tea on my back deck as the sun sets in the horizon. My family has been busy traveling most of the past month, so we have not been able to enjoy our back deck, but if I close my eyes, I'm sitting on our deck with my feet propped up, drinking an iced tea. The point is, it doesn't really matter whether or not you have a gorgeous deck to enjoy an iced tea, they're still delicious regardless of where you're doing the enjoying. 

Summer ENTERTAINING with Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea

I was enjoying some iced teas recently on vacation. Every year my family and both my baby brother's families vacation together near where we grew up in rural Iowa to spend a glorious week with The Ladies, our aunts. Our father passed away when we were all teenagers and The Ladies are our only connection to our father. So, it is very important to all of us to take this time every summer to be with our aunts, and really, our father.

Summer ENTERTAINING with Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea
Summer ENTERTAINING with Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea
We spend the week together, we laugh, we reminisce, we all cook together and it truly is a group effort. Other than being a parent, food, family, friendships and iced tea are the best things there are. A great iced tea and good food do bring people together. Bigelow Tea, America's largest family-owned tea company, who happen to be celebrating their 70th anniversary this year, completely understands this view.

In case you didn't know, Bigelow Tea began in a New York City townhouse, where Ruth Campbell Bigelow developed the iconic "Constant Comment"® tea, and has expanded to a worldwide market offering more than 130 varieties of flavored, green, organic, herbal, decaffeinated and iced teas. Some of their teas are my absolute favorites during the summer months.

Summer ENTERTAINING with Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea

During our week of vacation we brewed fresh tea all week long and created more memories for our families to cherish. Every afternoon we would gather together for a sweet and a sip, as my grandmother used to call it. My brothers and I would sit and wait, patiently, for a remembered story or thought . . . we were once again little children at rapt attention . . . waiting for any small detail that we could savor . . . this part of the day will always be the favorite. It is the time we reconnect and bring old traditions to the forefront of all our busy lives. It is the time our aunts cherish the most as well.

Summer ENTERTAINING with Bigelow Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea
Summer ENTERTAINING with Bigelow Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea
Summer ENTERTAINING with Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea
Summer ENTERTAINING with Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea

But if truth be told, it is the time my brothers and I cherish most of all. We brewed tea for our aunts and waited to see what sweets they would bring over for the afternoon sweet and sip. The smiles and laughs would quickly be heard throughout the house and everyone would gather around my aunts, sipping iced tea and gobbling up the sweet of the day . . . and listening to another favored story about our father or grandmother.

Summer ENTERTAINING with Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea

The Teas of Summer

Want to make some fabulous iced tea this summer for your family?  Here are a few tips for giving your brewed teas an extra boost of awesomeness.

Tips for Crafting a Great Iced Tea

Summer ENTERTAINING with Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea
Summer ENTERTAINING with Bigelow Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea
Summer ENTERTAINING with Bigelow Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea
Summer ENTERTAINING with Bigelow Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea

Always use the freshest ingredients when you can. Bigelow Tea believes in freshness, which is why they use a special foil pouch to protect tea from air, moisture and surrounding aromas. Tea is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids, which are most potent when tea is freshly brewed. So, always brew your tea fresh to make your iced teas. Remember to squeeze your citrus juices fresh from the fruit as well, and always use fresh herbs (my favorite is fresh mint). A great plan is to always have plenty of lemons and limes on hand, especially if you plan to make a lot of iced tea this summer!

Summer ENTERTAINING with Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea

When it comes to tea, get the best! Bigelow Tea is an American Company for the American consumer. I've always heard that you should always cook  with the best ingredients, so it stands to reason that a great iced tea should be made with the best tea that tastes good brewed straight! I was able to locate my favorite Bigelow Tea at Walmart. But a good tea can really make an iced tea incredible.

Summer ENTERTAINING with Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea
Summer ENTERTAINING with Bigelow Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea

Make sure to dilute your iced tea!  Diluting can feel like it's going against the point of creating an iced tea, but here are simple tips to know when your iced tea is diluted the right amount. For iced teas that are poured into a cup from a large pitcher(see above image), watch the edges of the ice cubes. Once they have lost their sharpness and the edges are rounded, it's perfect! Another tip on ice: if the ice has been sitting in your freezer for too long it can start to taste like the other stuff in your freezer, which really isn't the flavor you want in your iced tea. Use fresh ice!

Summer ENTERTAINING with Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea

Don't forget the garnish!  My favorite way to make an iced tea look super fancy is the garnish. Even the most simple of garnishes can make your iced tea look like it was handcrafted by Bigelow drink photographers. Just a twist of lime, sprig of mint, or a wedge of fruit is all it takes! Not only do garnishes make your iced teas look great, they can also finish out the flavor of your iced teas. Just a twist of lemon peel or a star anise can perfectly finish your iced tea! If you're garnishing with herbs, give them a gentle rub between your fingers to release the oils first. My favorite is to add mint to mine!

Summer ENTERTAINING with Bigelow Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea
Summer ENTERTAINING with Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea

Using the right type of glass for a iced tea can also help your iced teas shine.  It's not required for a great tasting iced tea, obviously, but it can make it that much more pretty.  I've scored all my different kinds of iced tea glasses from my aunts!  Or, you know, just use mason jars!

Summer ENTERTAINING with Bigelow Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea

I love that we are able to make customized iced tea anytime now! The teas were a huge hit during our vacation, and I think they will be perfect for the days when unexpected guests stop by this summer. I fell in love with the iced tea bar during vacation so much that I  gave it a permanent summer spot on the top of my desk! In minutes we are ready for sipping on the deck and chatting with friends as we watch the kiddos play outside!

Summer ENTERTAINING with Iced Teas + tips for crafting a great iced tea #MeAndMyTea

What fabulous iced tea will you make this summer for your family?

Get Ready for Summer with Nexium 24 HR

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone and should not be taken as medical advice. #GiveHeartburnARest #CollectiveBias

There is nothing worse than a sharp pain in the middle of your chest. Heartburn . . . it's awful. Do you suffer from heartburn ever? I have been a frequent sufferer of heartburn for the past couple of years and have found the perfect solution that works for me. Nexium 24 HR gives me all day 24 hour relief and all night protection in one little purple pill.

Get Ready for Summer with Nexium #GiveHeartburnARest #CollectiveBias

The past couple of years I have suffered from frequent heartburn. I had even stopped going to restaurants with my family because I was so unsure what food would be a trigger for me to be in some serious pain. During this period I was miserable and in constant pain while trying to find the right mix of medicines that would work for me. I finally found an over the counter medicine that fulfills my needs.

I struggled for quite a while trying to find the best medicine that would work for me and give me all day and all night protection. I would have good days and bad days until I really just stopped going to restaurants all together with my family. I never even wanted to eat food at friend's or family's homes. It is not fun when your family is enjoying time together and you are staying home by yourself in order to avoid any issues with heartburn.

Get Ready for Summer with Nexium #GiveHeartburnARest #CollectiveBias

Nexium 24 HR is currently available at your local Walgreens right over the counter! The best news is that Nexium 24 HR offers me 24 hour relief! I don't have to fret about where I can eat now. Taking one Nexium 24 HR gives me all-day, all-night protection from the frequent heartburn I suffer. Currently this month you can save $3.00 off the 42ct. Nexium 24 HR at Walgreens. Better still, you can add Nexium 24 HR to your auto-reorder and never be without your purple pill.

Get Ready for Summer with Nexium #giveheartburnarest

 I had periods where I wouldn't eat anything from a restaurant and had to decline so many invites out with friends and family. That period has ended for me! I now take Nexium 24 HR and love that it is available over the counter and is super convenient for me to purchase. I especially love the auto-reorder program with Walgreens.

Get Ready for Summer with Nexium #GiveHeartburnARest #CollectiveBias
Get Ready for Summer with Nexium #GiveHeartburnARest #CollectiveBias
Get Ready for Summer with Nexium #GiveHeartburnARest #CollectiveBias
Get Ready for Summer with Nexium #GiveHeartburnARest #CollectiveBias

One little purple pill each day gives me the relief that I need to be active with my family this summer. We are able to go out to dinner together and I don't have to fret about being miserable later. I am no longer in pain during the day or during the night. One little purple pill alleviates my burning chest issues. A definite first for me!

Get Ready for Summer with Nexium #GiveHeartburnARest #CollectiveBias

Taking one Nexium 24 HR a day can give you all-day, all-night protection from frequent heartburn. Nexium 24 HR will quickly relieve your heartburn symptoms AND will give you lasting relief as well. Put your heartburn to rest like I did. Get out to restaurants and enjoy your family this summer. Go to summer picnics and gatherings this summer and enjoy your time. Be sure to read the product label and directions!

Get Nexium 24 HR and start creating your summer memories! This is what I plan to enjoy this Summer now that I am heartburn free. What activities would you enjoy to the fullest?

TV Shows to Stream on Netflix this Summer

While my children are taking a break this summer and not attending summer school, I still want to inspire their learning throughout the summer months. We still school part-part-time three days a week for an hour or so. We do loads of summer reading programs and naturally I look for anything that helps me and my kids keep connecting.

My kids love to listen to any story about myself when I was a child. They will ask me to tell them the same story over and over. It cracks me up. It connects our childhoods; they have something in common with me. There’s something pretty awesome about connecting with my kids over something I loved when I was young.

We also love to connect over all the old-school classics like Scooby-Doo and Mickey Mouse. Cartoons such as the new Netflix original series Inspector Gadget and Danger Mouse are giving us loads to bond over. These new reboots are introducing a whole new generation to some of the most favorite characters.

Must-Watch Throwbacks

  •  Inspector Gadget
  •  Danger Mouse (6/15)
  •  My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
  •  Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
  •  Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  •  Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
  •  The Magic School Bus
  •  The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That
  • Garfield and Friends
  •  The Super Mario Bros Super Show!
  •  The Smurfs 2
  •  Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated

New on Netflix for Kids and Families

  •  Gallina Pintadita (Now streaming in Spanish!)
  •  Bindi's Boot Camp (6/15)
  •  Some Assembly Required (6/19)
  •  Dragons: Race to the Edge: Season 1 (6/26)

AND don't forget, there are new shows streaming all month long for parents to connect during the summer months as well. My husband and I recently started to stream Hemlock Grove -- TOTALLY love this show! I was away at summer camp with my girls last week and was able to stream episodes at night while everyone was asleep . . . but shh, because I made the girls have a screen free week! I am also streaming Between . . . have you seen this yet? LOVE it! Another new series that began this month is Sense8. If you haven't' noticed, my husband and I really enjoy Sci-Fi!!

Disclosure: This post is part of my involvement as a Netflix #StreamTeam Member. All opinions are my own. #NetflixKids

Summer Activities

School is out for my girls. We finished a few weeks ago and my son finished last Friday. We are all in full-on relax mode. Well, not really, because my daughters are headed to sleep away camp next week. But our minds are on fun things to do in the summer. Do you have your bucket list ready?

From BBQs to warm lazy summer days, we are ready. Although we are still waiting for the warm lazy summer to arrive here in Chicago.  There are strawberry fields to visit and blueberries to be picked. There is simply too much to do in the summer. So here are some things one simply MUST do if you live in the Midwest!

Drink Lemonade On Your Deck

Be sure to make fresh lemonade and drink up during the golden hour!

Lemonade Stand Mini Sessions Photography

Host a Backyard BBQ

Hang String Lights Over Your Deck

Add some twinkle to family game night or a relaxing afternoon by hanging string lights on your deck.

Spend a Lazy Afternoon in a Hammock

Can you think of anything better than spending the afternoon napping in a hammock?

Grill

grill

Take a Dip in a Swimming Hole

Forgot your local pools that are full of screaming kids and check local lakes that you can swim in. This was a favorite past time of mine when I was a kid growing up in Iowa.

swimming in a lake

Make Your Own Salsa

This summer salsa recipe is so easy . . . fresh, simple and delicious.

Simple Summer Salsa

Decorate Your Home for Fourth of July

Gather Friends for a Cookout

Invite your friends. Invite your family. Invite your neighbors. Have a good old fashioned pot luck. Try something new and have fun.

Make Homemade Ice Cream

Hang Up a Rope Swing

If you have large trees in your back yard, find a way to shimmy up it and hang a fabulous rope swing. You will thank me, your kids will think you are the best mom in the world!

hang a rope swing

Make a Dish with Your Backyard Garden Bounty

Whether you wish to teach your children about nature and where their food comes from, or you just want to grow some of your own delicious food -- you will be amazed at how much fun a garden can be.

Make a Dish with Your Backyard Garden Bounty

Get Outside and Play a Game

Take a Hike

The country life is about connecting with nature. Get out and explore your area, there are plenty of forest preserves if you live in an urban area. 

Take A hike

Which activity are you going to check off first? I've decided since we have been so busy and already been in 5 different states in the past month that I am going to enjoy a summer book!

Here are some FREE summer activities to enjoy as well! Be sure to check out the FREE Summer Reading Programs available as well!!

About Tiaras & Tantrums: Rese is a mom of three. She enjoys home educating her kiddos, taking photos, and traveling the globe. Rese is a family lifestyle photographer and home educator. Connect with Rese on TwitterInstagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. Sign up via email for the latest updates from Tiaras & Tantrums.