Spiderman Donuts & Birth Announcements

Oh, have I got a birth announcement for you! (if you have a spare three minutes)

I think I always meant to tell you that. In case you didn’t already know from Facebook and/or Instagram, Scarlet Bella turned eight over the weekend. Whoa, what a day. It had highs and lows and creamy ice cream middles. The thing is, the day was BEAUTIFUL with her. Then when night fell, my sunniness evaporated and gave way to doubts and swirling thoughts.

I lost the sunniness the day had given, but it can’t go away too far with Scarlet Bella on the move.

The thing is, she held my hand before she fell asleep and she wouldn’t let go.

Then everything crept, and then zoomed, forward. From back of mind to front of mind. Tears for fears. Doubt. It’s those rough moments in which I worry my mama’s heart is too raw and exposed, and it will never survive, even though the alternative of having a rough and hidden heart is far worse. The thing is, sometimes I look at old photos of my father and I worry that he died of anxiety and heartache. That his heart beat too fast and too painfully. Not for any reason, other than sometimes the world is too big to bear, too wide to wrap your heart around, and too fixated on time for anyone to not feel the rippling effects of its passage. I know that he died of undiagnosed heart disease and not of the blanks I’ve had to fill.

And as much as I live and love and make my heart beat too fast, too much, too hurt, too everything, it won’t kill me. Our hearts hold up the world, because that’s what they’re meant to do, despite our efforts to topple down beneath the rubble.

And I’m banking on that, as well as her supreme smile, the way she cleaned her room in exchange for me reading with her for an hour last night (which I would have done for free), and how she went up to another little girl at camp this morning who was crying and scared and introduced herself because they have the same time. She’s a sparkly girl; makes me proud.

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Now can we PLEASE talk about doughnuts?? These are such fun and the movie is now out!

Are you a MARVEL fan? These Spiderman Donuts are easy to make, and super fun to decorate. If you're planning a party, you need this Spiderman Donuts #recipe

Ingredients

1 box of cake mix (we used Funfetti Aqua Blue Cake Mix)
2 Eggs
2/3 Cup of Water
1/3 Cup of Vegetable Oil
Red Wilton Candy Melts
Black Icing Gel
Wilton Donut Pan

Directions

Mix cake mix, water, vegetable oil and eggs according to the cake mix box.

Spray donut pan with cooking spray.

Pour donut mix into a measuring cup for easy pouring. Pour the donut mix into the donut pan, making sure not to fill all the way to the top.

Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Let cool for 5 minutes.

Melt red candy melts in microwave or with this Wilton Melting Pot

Dip the top of each donut into the red candy melts. Let harden for 5 minutes. You can also put into the fridge for it to harden.

Use the black icing gel to create a spider web by drawing 2 circles on top and then about 8 lines across the circles.

Enjoy!

Smoked Sausage Loaded Potato Salad

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

You'll LOVE Smoked Sausage Loaded Potato Salad to kick off summer. The potatoes and smoky Eckrich Smoked Sausage are a match made in heaven #ad #GiveLifeMoreFlavor

Boy, do I have a treat for you today!

You KNOW I love summer. You know I love potato salad, in part because I love potatoes (and fixings) and in part, because I adore recipes that remind me of this – my favorite season. During our wonderful July 4th last week, I once again remembered my parents’ big July 4th parties. Along with the seven of us in total, what seemed like hundreds of loved ones would arrive in twos and fours – armed with coolers, freshly baked pies, and cold summer salads. We had a giant, pool and people would put out their towels on our lawn. I don’t think you could see even an inch of green lawn – because the entire lawn was covered by colorful towels and happy people. There was sausage cooking on the grill and cold summer salads.

smoked sausage

After the sun went down, we would light sparklers under the deck and draw designs with them. We would eat ice cream cones or popsicles. My dad would blast 80’s rock out of the speakers he kept under our deck, and we’d all be swatting mosquitoes and sharing stories. That was our summertime tradition. I can’t smell the grill without thinking of those parties. This year we cooked off summer at a new friend’s house, but I discovered something awesome there cooking on the grill.

Eckrich Smoked Sausage!

I asked my friend where on earth I could get such delicious, flavorful, smoked sausage and he directed me to Walmart. That was a relief because it’s such an easy trip for me, and I can make so many recipes out of this wonderful smoked sausage.

I picked out Eckrich Polska Kielbasa Natural Casing Rope Smoked Sausage for my family. I was thinking new summer traditions, grilling, and maybe a new twist on an old classic. Erkrich has a range of products, varieties and flavors that my whole family loves – while also being affordable and accessible. They are Naturally Hardwood Smoked for that true smokehouse taste (SO good). I think you probably know how much I love smoked sausage! A LOT. In fact, I always have.

My sister loves macaroni salad, but potato salad was always my weakness. I remember the different variations of it over the years. I’d have the classic kind – with potatoes, mayo, and dill – and not much else – but then I remembered even more of the potato salads with a little (or a lot) something extra. I’m talking green crunch, and the potato skins still nearly intact.

And I’m talking summer grilling smoky-flavored awesomeness.

Now we’re making new traditions this summer. Scarlet is newly eight and Des is newly five. The chickens are almost old enough to lay their eggs, and Athena and Juniper are as adorable as always. Our summer backyard is quite a spectacle and we have to have the food to back it up. One of our favorite traditions is a summer birthday party and we always cook with the adults in mind, as well as the kids. I’ll be making my perfect Grilled Smoked Sausage Loaded Potato Salad!

Smoked Sausage Loaded Potato Salad

Smoked Sausage Loaded Potato Salad

Ingredients

  1. 8 oz. Polska Kielbasa Natural Casing Rope Smoked Sausage
  2. 9 medium potatoes (red or yellow)
  3. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  4. 1/2 cup sour cream
  5. 2 tbsp Dijon (or honey) mustard
  6. 1 tsp salt
  7. 1/2 tsp Pepper
  8. 1 cup celery, chopped
  9. garlic to taste
  10. "Loaded" ingredients - bacon and cheese

Instructions

  • 1. Cook potatoes in gently boiling water until firm-tender.
  • 2. Drain and cool.
  • 3. Preheat your grill to medium-high and grill your Polska Kielbasa Natural Casing Rope Smoked Sausage until marked and cooked through for about 10-12 minutes.
  • 4. Cut each piece.
  • 5. Mix all non-potato/non-sausage ingredients in a large bowl until blended.
  • 6. Stir in potatoes and smoked sausage, breaking up the potatoes.
  • 7. Enjoy!
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Now, what do you think? I have to say that ALL Eckrich Smoked Sausages can be used for this recipe. I had trouble choosing because they all have a truly rich, savory taste. They all have a delicious, naturally hardwood smoked flavor.

Now tell me, what is your absolute favorite ingredient to put in your summertime potato salad?

For inspiration on Eckrich Smoked Sausage, check out their page. And connect on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Enjoy!