4th of July & Post-Wedding Rush

How was everyone’s 4th of July weekend? Joshua & I had a splendid time, because for the first time in 3 1/2 years of being together, we did not have to TRAVEL in the holiday weekend traffic! I know traffic is bad for many holidays throughout the year, but in my opinion— 4th of July traffic is the worst of it all. So we were very happy to stay local in Virginia and have fun with friends!

I was feeling a bit under the weather both Friday and Saturday of last week— I think it was from all the company we’ve had and the post-wedding rush. Let me fill you in on the events we’ve had since our wedding.
Our wedding was the weekend of June 18th. Well, we came back to Virginia late Monday evening, had two days to ourselves (with Joshua back at work), then our friends Felice and Christian came to visit from Thursday to Friday evening. During that time, it was work-work-work as I made the wedding invitations for their August wedding! We then had two more days to ourselves to run errands, get my car fixed (broken AC, no fun at all!), etc. Then Monday evening I had a few of my new Quantico girlfriends over for Bachelorette night (we’re a little obsessed), then on Tuesday my maid-of-honor Sue visited from Boston. She stayed until Friday and cooked for us (yum!), we visited friends in DC, went to the movies, and had a grand ol’ time. Our friend Ashley came to stay the last night Sue was here, which was also the day I hosted my first ever Scentsy party with all the local girls. I don’t sell Scentsy— I just buy it. :-) I’m receiving over $100 worth of product for only $34, just for having a party! Lovely.
So that led to me being “under the weather” for the first two days of the holiday weekend. But it wasn’t long before I was up and at ‘em with Joshua and our friends Erika & John for a day of fun at Kings Dominion! Military got in free, and spouses got discounted tickets. Thank you, Kings Dominion! We rode all the roller coasters, went to the water park, and nearly made it home in time to miss the gigantic lightning storm that took over Virginia that evening. :-)
For the actual 4th of July, we had a barbecue at our friends Alison & Ben’s house. There were a lot of people, and Alison asked us to bring a dessert. I was so excited to use the new trifle bowl we got for our bridal shower! I’ve wanted this trifle bowl ever since I saw it, even though I had no idea what to use it for or make in it.

Thanks to the Google Gods, I found this recipe: Patriotic Trifle, and I made it and brought it over for the holiday. Of course, my camera died AT the party, so Erika took the above photo for me with her phone. Luckily for Joshua and I, there were leftover ingredients at my house. So on Tuesday, I made four mini trifles in the mini trifle bowls we also got for our shower! (I asked for a total of 8 of these, and I received them… I daydreamed about serving cute little trifles for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners with our family and house guests. Lol.)

It was perfect, because we had company for dinner on Tuesday night, and there was just enough.

I’m also obsessed with patriotic recipes. Love love love. Last year for Memorial Day, I made patriotic cupcakes. Nom nom nom. :-) Any patriotic recipes to share? Please do!

Buffalo Ranch Chicken Dip

Hello, friends! A couple weekends ago, Joshua & I had a barbecue with a few friends from his new unit. We grilled burgers and chicken, had a yummy tomato & mozzarella salad, and my favorite: enjoyed a delicious appetizer of Buffalo Ranch Chicken Dip.

Last winter, my friend Annie (we met at our previous duty station in North Carolina) posted this incredible recipe on her blog. I’ve made it a dozen times, and finally made an alteration to take some of the bite off the buffalo flavor and include ranch, the all-time favorite condiment in our house.

Annie, I hope you don’t mind I modified your recipe! Seriously you guys, you have to try this. We serve it with tostitos or celery. Yum!


  • 1 (12 oz) can of chicken
  • 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese dressing
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing


  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Add all ingredients to an oven-safe dish
  • Bake at 350° for 15 minutes
  • Let cool & serve with chips or celery!
It’s so easy to make. So easy, in fact, that I was in the mood to play with my new 50mm lens, so I photographed the whole process to share with all of you! Enjoy. :-)
{Drain & add 12 oz canned chicken to dish}

{Add 8 oz cream cheese}

{Add 1/2 cup hot sauce}

{Mmm, yummy Franks}

{Add 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese— I always add a lot!}

{Mmm, yummy cheese}

{Add 1/2 cup blue cheese dressing}

{Add 1/2 cup ranch dressing}

{Mix it all up!}

{Bake for 15 minutes at 350°}

{Cool and serve!}

Let me know if you happen to try it. Thanks again, Annie! This will be a hit in our home forever! If you don’t already follow Annie, check out her blog, Simplify. She’s sweet, fun, and super smart… always a pleaseure to read!