cheers to the fourth!

Happy Birthday, America! (That is how I explained the 4th of July to the 4-year-olds I was teaching last year. That is probably the simplest explanation I think they can grasp. Although they totally get fireworks + eating watermelon.)
I'm off-linin' it a day early because we are going to be busy today cleaning + cooking before the holiday weekend. My agenda today includes making salads and desserts for tomorrow, cleaning the kitchen and sweeping the dog hair off the floor because we have company tonight! Our friends Randy + Danielle and finally coming to St. Paul so that we can take them to some of our favorite spots. Then we'll spend Friday with my family and hopefully catch a couple fish. :)  
 I snapped these pictures yesterday. The first two are of the fun + festive July images are from my daily planner. Mine is a Lilly Pulitzer Large Agenda and I can't recommend it enough. I thought I found my perfect planner before, but this one is far superior. It's girly without being too girly and has plenty of room to write. The last two are from my backyard yesterday. 

In the archives of Project Simple Life:
July 2010: fourth. (loved writing this one...)
July 2012: sparkly skies


my list: kitchen tool favorites

The prompt for #fmsphotoaday is 'something beginning with a K' which is perfect because I have been meaning to share my favorite kitchen tools! These are the ones I use daily/weekly, whether I'm flipping an egg white omelet, zesting a lemon or whisking up some of my favorite pancake batter. Most of these we got for our wedding 4+ years ago, so they are still in almost - new shape.

The links below direct you to the exact tools or something similar. enjoy!

1. rachael ray nylon turner set. perfect for: flipping fish, omelets, chicken breasts, anything! we use our small + large flippers every single day. love them.
2. microplane grater. perfect for: grating hard cheeses, garlic, or cinnamon sticks, zesting lemons + oranges.
3. stainless steel utility whisk. perfect for: delicate cake batters, folding ingredients, whisking powdered sugar into cream cheese to make frosting. (note: we used plastic whisks for a while but threw them away because they did not hold up to anything that we wanted. constantly bent. no good. will always buy good quality instead of cheap.)
4. paula deen solid spoons. perfect for: stirring anything. ours are used several times a week. we sometimes put them in the dishwasher, but my mom's advice is always to hand wash anything wooden.
5. rachael ray spoonula set. perfect for: anything you would use a spatula for. but better. con -- will not fit in the peanut butter jar.
6. kitchenaid santoku knife. perfect for: dicin' and slicin'. except tomatoes. serated all the way for those bad boys. santoku knives are amazing. we have 3. mom's advice again -- wash by hand to avoid rusting.
7. stainless steel measuring cups. perfect for: doin' their job. buying quality works again. we registered for these plastic measuring cups and the numbers rubbed off and it was no good. so now we use these and my preschoolers play with the plastic ones.


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