it’s a jolly holiday with jettie…

Mary Poppins PartyOh….it was definitely a “Jolly Holiday” with Jettie. I know I say this every year, but Jettie’s 5th birthday guys, it is going down as an all time favorite. How couldn’t it though?! First of all, it was themed after one of the best movies of all time. A movie filled with whimsy and magic and hats with daisies and cherries. And then of course there’s the songs. The brilliantly written, make your heart happy, songs of perfection.

Mary Poppins…practically perfect for a party in every way.

Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins PartyGoing into this one I felt overwhelmed but in a good way. (If that makes any sense.) I knew I needed some sort of a plan and that is where I decided to focus on the songs.

The invite had all the Mary Poppins icons that we know – the parrot umbrella, hat, penguins, kite, spoon, ruler – with the heading being “Oh…It’s a jolly holiday for Jettie’s 5th Brithday”. The sweets table could only be one thing of course – “Spoonful of Sugar”. I had a kite craft station setup for “Let’s Go Fly a Kite”. And a cityscape silhouette for “Step in Time.”

First up, the sweets station. I really wanted to bring in the stripes from Bert’s suit (swap pink for red of course) and that is where I came up with the awning idea. We served cherry pineapple tea sandwiches, strawberry soup, powdered donuts and glazed croissants. But the star of this table was obviously the cake. Stacia from Cakecrazy outdid herself once again. I was thinking we would do a carousel cake but Jettie pushed for the Banks’ home…good thing she is smarter than her mom. The cake was every bit of delicious as it was beautiful. [Which makes cutting it just a tad easier.]

Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins PartyMary Poppins PartyMary Poppins Party

Guests arrived to a place setting of their own mini Mary Poppins hat headband and labeled drink containers. Across the room hung “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and yes I had anxiety spelling and ordering those letters. (It’s a big weird word!) Every corner had a little something…including a carousel house that was only made possible by my family. (They rule!)

Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins PartyMary Poppins Party Mary Poppins PartyJettie is a crafter and seems to think every party needs a handful of “craft stations”. We go small and intimate on her parties so I went a little more involved with the crafts. I am not sure I will ever top these, by far my favorite stations I have ever created for a party.

Every girl got to make a “kite” out of clear contact paper and assorted shapes of tissue paper. There were twines and ribbon for customizing. The other station was all about magnets. I created designs for the girls to chose from to make their own “bubble” magnets. Once dry, each girl got a chalkboard metal sign to take home with them (complete with their magnets of course). I will talk about these crafts more in detail on a later post.

We also made sidewalk chalk favors for the girls to have. They were tagged with Bert’s famous “You think, you wink, you do a double blink…” quote. Loved the way they looked in the old suitcase.

Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins PartyMary Poppins Party Mary Poppins Party

I failed at taking many people shots this year. [Good news is that meant I enjoyed guests more.] We did manage to snap some cake shots though. Oh, and there was a giant ruler  for pictures. Sort of a last minute thing I put up but I love how it brought that famous part of the movie into the party.

Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins Party mary_poppins-34 Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins PartyBelieve it or not there are a few more things I wanted to do but all in all I think we covered our Mary Poppins bases. Thank you to our guests for making it so special for our Jettie. And as always, a HUGE thank you to my man and mom for putting up with my ideas and somehow helping me execute them.


Brandy J





  • Cake: Cakecrazy
  • Invite and Party Signs/Labels: PPJ SHOP
  • Small hat, daisies and red glitter balls: Hobby Lobby
  • Large black hats, agent supplies, kite supplies, yellow backdrop: Amazon
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summer dishes

I think Father’s Day is in June because men love to grill and there is no better season for such an activity than summer! Below you’ll find a handful of recipes that I know the father in our home would love…with a couple lighter side, yet equally delicious dishes for good measure.

0610161 Barbecued Grilled Chicken Wings Onion, Gruyere & Arugula Burgers 3 Tomato, Corn & Zucchini Pizza Bourbon Barbecue Ribs Black Bean Burgers 6 Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

Happy Summer Eating!

Brandy J




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marinated grilled chicken

marinated grilled chickenAsk Sticky to make something on the stove and he looks at me like I am speaking a foreign language. Suggest we grill for dinner and the man instantly has the giant tongs in one hand and a beer in the other.

Seeing how Father’s Day is just around the corner I thought why not throw the guy a bone and do a meaty post. Something so easy that even he will be able to make it in the future (with very little assistance). Of course he was the taste tester as I do not each such a thing as chicken..and since you are seeing it here you can bet it got a double thumbs up from the carnivore of our home.

(Raw chicken…it’s so gross. Really you guys, I need to move on from the below image quickly before I hurl.)

marinated grilled chicken“Brand, you got to get me in action! That’s what they like! Just don’t get my hair, I look like a dingus!”

(For anyone who personally knows Sticky you can attest that that is exactly what the man said.)

marinated grilled chicken marinated grilled chickenDespite the fact that I do not eat meat, I have to admit that they chicken smelled soooooo gooooooood when it was grilled. When I checked the center to ensure it was cooked through, I could tell that it was extra juicy as well. I’m pretty sure those 2 things are solid indicators of some delicious meat.

marinated grilled chickenTime to fire up that grill and do some celebrating of Dad! You may even get him to do the grilling part for you…just as long as you provide the cold beverage of course.


Brandy J



marinated grilled chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • ½cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼cup soy sauce
  • ¼cup Worcestershire sauce
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ¾cup brown sugar
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1tsp ground black pepper
  • 2tsp garlic powder
  • 1tsp red pepper flake
  • 3.5 to 4lbs chicken - any type
  1. Place all ingredients in a large baking dish or ziplock bag, seal and marinate for at least 4 hours. (Overnight is best.)
  2. When chicken is ready, preheat grill on medium high heat and lightly oil the grates.
  3. Remove each piece of chicken from marinade, allowing the excess to drop off, and grill on each side for 5 to 6 minutes. Baste in between grilling each side with marinade, just be sure not to baste when finished grilling.
  4. Place grilled chicken under a loose foil tent for 5 minutes, test the center before serving to ensure juices run clear. (If they don't, throw in a 350º oven for 5 to 10 minutes.) Enjoy!

marinated grilled chicken
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strawberry lemon coffee cake muffins

strawberry lemon coffee cake muffinsThree years ago Shan posted a Strawberry Coffee Cake with a Lemon Glaze that was seriously one of my favorite cakes ever. (I can’t believe I can say “3 years ago” in blog terms…where has time gone?) That recipe is what inspired these muffins. Basically portable versions of that delicious coffee cake…and still damn delicious with iced coffee.

strawberry lemon coffee cake muffinsI am not exactly sure what distinguishes a coffee cake from all others but I think it may have something to do with the crumb topping. And sometimes that buttery delectable topping is topped with a sweet glaze. Which is the case for these muffins. Cake topped with berries, topped with crumb, topped with lemon glaze. Yes, these are good people.

strawberry lemon coffee cake muffins strawberry lemon coffee cake muffinsIf my search was correct, this is only the 3rd time strawberries and lemon have been featured together on this blog. Say what??!! It’s only one of my favorite summer combos! Be prepared for more berries and lemon. It’ll probably be a cocktail you will see next, just being honest here.

First though, you gotta make these muffins! Jettie said they are so good that I should make one million more. That’s high praise from a 5 year old.

strawberry lemon coffee cake muffins strawberry lemon coffee cake muffinsOf course the almost 2 year old loves them as well…so sneaky he is stealing a muffin while I am shooting. But how do you take a muffin away from that face? I am seriously asking, how??!! (He’s a cutie!)

strawberry lemon coffee cake muffinsThere is one bad thing about these amazing muffins – they need to be eating within 2 days of baking. Good news is there’s a good chance they won’t last 24 hours.


Brandy J



strawberry lemon coffee cake muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12 muffins
  • Muffins:
  • ¼cup unsalted butter, room temp, plus more for greasing pan
  • ½cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • ½tsp baking soda
  • 1½tsp baking powder
  • ½tsp kosher salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ½cup milk (buttermilk works as well)
  • 1½cup small dice strawberries
  • Crumb topping:
  • ¼cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • ½cup flour
  • ¼cup granulated sugar
  • Glaze:
  • 1tbsp milk
  • 1tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 to 2cups powdered sugar
  1. Preheat the oven 350ºF. Grease a regular muffin tin with butter (or use muffin liners).
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla on low until incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Slowly add to the butter mixture, on a low speed, alternating with the milk. Combine until just incorporated - there should be a little flour still visible. Gently fold ½ of the strawberries in with a rubber spatula. Fill each muffin compartment ½ full with the batter. Top each one with the remaining strawberries, evenly.
  4. For the crumble, in a small bowl work the cold butter, flour and sugar together with your fingertips or a pastry cutter until you have small, pea size clusters. Divide evenly on top of the muffins.
  5. Place muffins on the middle rack in the preheated oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the edges and top begin to look golden. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack.
  6. While the muffins are baking, prepare the glaze by mixing the lemon juice, milk and 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Add more powdered sugar until you achieve the consistency you want (I prefer a thicker glaze). Drizzle glaze over completely cooled muffins and devour. So good with iced coffee! Be sure to eat these guys within 2 days of baking.

strawberry lemon coffee cake muffins
Posted in breakfast, brunch, recipes, something sweet | Tagged | Leave a comment

romp around, casual version

There seems to be a lot of mixed feelings out there about rompers. Some people need them to not exist, while others practically live in these one-piece wonders.

I am 100% on board with their existence, I do however feel it takes time to find the right one for your shape, lifestyle and measurement between shoulders and crotch. (That is the magic # when it comes to these things, ladies.)

Here are a handful of what I would call “casual, dress up or down, no butt cheek hanging out, easy for on the go girl and moms” rompers. If you ask me every girl should own at least one…you just need to put in the time to find that perfect one. When you do, you will have added a casual piece to your wardrobe that only requires footwear. (But yes, you still have to get naked when going the bathroom, there’s no way around that):

romp_around_060616_blog1Angie print strapless romper via Nordstrom/2ASOS casual romper with contrast binding/3H&M sleeveless jumpsuit/4Forever 21 ornate floral came romper/5Old Navy sleeveless chambray romper/6LOFT beach striped drawstring romper


Brandy J

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