Dani’s Blog: THE JUICE

Cookie Sandcastles

Gear up for a beautiful beach weekend!

Gear up for a beautiful beach weekend!

The only reason I’m not totally depressed about this weekend is because September is one of my favorite months at the beach! It’s a bit cooler, the water is still warm and it’s just gorgeous. That said, I am sad to see “official Summer” go but I am cheering myself up with these cookie sandcastles!

Cookie sandcastles! Yum!

Cookie sandcastles! Yum!

I used CopperGifts amazing castle cookie cutters to make these cookies. I decorated the borders with a combo of candy beads in 2 sizes. I iced them with gold icing and while wet…

...sprinkled them with crushed graham crackers to create the sandcastle effect!

…sprinkled them with crushed graham crackers to create the sandcastle effect!

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know how much I LOVE cookie sand! (For a how-to check here ) See how to decorate our Gnome and Gnomi cookies here and here.

I baked the big sandcastle with a stick stuck in the top middle. Once decorated and dry, I added the SUMMER flag with a few dots of glue.

I baked the big sandcastle with a stick stuck in the top middle. Once the cookie was decorated and dry, I added the SUMMER flag with a few dots of glue.

Have a great Labor Day Weekend everybody!

Cookies decorated with cookies? DELISH!

Have a great Labor Day Weekend, everybody! …and here’s to a beautiful Fall… Life is Sweet! Xo Dani

 

Summer Vacation in “Jaws Country”

Since we go to the Jersey Shore most weekends, we don’t normally plan an “official” Summer vacation. This year we were invited to visit our cousins in a house they rent in Nantucket so we jumped at the chance to explore this beautiful part of the country we had heard so much about.

We left Weehawken at the crack of dawn in order to make our 1:00 ferry. Here's the cun coming up reflected on our Jeep hood somewhere in CT. We were lucky to see the sunrise and sunset that day!

We left Weehawken at the crack of dawn in order to make our 1:00 ferry. Here’s the sun coming up reflected on our Jeep hood somewhere in CT. We were lucky to see the sunrise and sunset that day!

If you don't book early enough, it is nearly impossible to get your car on the ferries to the islands. Here's our bikes on the way to the Vineyard. Can you guess who's who?

If you don’t book early enough, it is nearly impossible to get your car on the ferries to the islands. Here’s our bikes on the way to the Vineyard. Can you guess who’s who?

Which also meant we had to bike to our hotel with our luggage which we packed in backpacks. This was quite a "rugged" move for me but also kind of a good way to limit my usually out of control packing.

…Which also meant we had to bike to our hotel with our luggage which we packed in backpacks. This was quite a “rugged” move for me but also kind of a good way to limit my usually out of control packing.

We didn't get to meet him but the Obamas were in town when we were in the Vineyard. I thought this sign was very fun.

We didn’t get to meet him but the Obamas were in town when we were in the Vineyard. I thought this sign on a local restaurant was very fun.

I saw that Black Dog Bakery had sold out of this donut the day before. We waited on a nail biting line to get this last one the next morning. Its called the "Party Donut" for obvious reasons.

I saw that Black Dog Bakery had sold out of this donut the day before. We waited on a nail biting line to get this last one the next morning. Its called the “Party Donut” for obvious reasons.

KF’s favorite movie, Jaws, was filmed in Martha’s Vineyard in the 70′s so we thought it would be fun to explore the area and see if we recognized anything. We jumped on our bikes and cruised across the island…

On the way to one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to, I snapped this pathway shot... almost every view is picturesque.

On the way to one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to, Katama Beach (or South Beach) I snapped this pathway shot… almost every view is picturesque.

On the way into Edgartown, I snapped this pic of cows grazing.

On the way into Edgartown, I snapped this pic of cows grazing. Luckily, no sharks to be seen!

The coastal ride from Edgartown to Oak Bluffs is one of the most beautiful... long stretches of beaches to the right and green, lush water and estuaries and tidal pools to the left where people hunt for shellfish.

The coastal ride from Edgartown to Oak Bluffs is one of the most beautiful… long stretches of beaches to the right and green, lush water and estuaries and tidal pools to the left where people fish for shellfish.

This beach entrance reminded me a bit of the opening scene of Jaws where they enter the beach. It really could have been shot anywhere though...

This beach entrance reminded me a bit of the opening scene of Jaws where they enter the beach…

This was actually a sort of confirmed Jaws scene area; The bridge entering Oak Bluffs from Edgartown... Even though the sign said not to, many people were jumping off this bridge into the water. Keith saw someone holding a sign after for a photo that said "I jumped off Jaws Bridge".

This was actually a confirmed Jaws scene area; The bridge entering Oak Bluffs from Edgartown… Even though the sign said not to, many people were jumping off this bridge into the water. Keith saw someone holding a sign after for a photo that said “I jumped off the Jaws Bridge”. It looks familiar, right? 

Mermaid Crossing, Oak Bluffs

Mermaid Crossing, Oak Bluffs

Keith was only slightly embarrassed when I walked into Back Door Donuts and annouced "I'm here to taste your famous donuts" Haahaa. Delish but from what I hear they are even better if you get them at the back door around closing time.

Keith was only slightly embarrassed when I walked into Back Door Donuts and announced “I’m here to taste your famous donuts” Haahaa. Delish but from what I hear they are even better if you get them at the back door between 7:30 p.m. and 12:58 a.m..

We were late to checkout due to pancake sampling at Black Dog Tavern. This is a staple in the area and we loved everything about it.

We were late to checkout on our last day in the Vineyard due to pancake sampling at Black Dog Tavern. This is a staple in the area and we loved everything about it from the logo to the Scooby Snack eggs, to their baked goods.

One of our first stops upon arriving in Nantucket... Brant Point Lighthouse.

One of our first stops upon arriving in Nantucket… Brant Point Lighthouse

Perfect for a group shot if you can clear the background which wasn't easy!

Perfect for a group shot if you can clear the background which wasn’t easy- this is a busy landmark! Here we are with my cousin Lauren and her adorable family.

Speraking of family, apparently vacation donut eating runs in our family... the morning after our arrival we rode our bikes to Nantucket Bake Shop to get donuts!

…Apparently vacation donut eating runs in our family… the morning after our arrival we rode our bikes to the world famous Nantucket Bake Shop to get donuts. Will plated them up so nicely! This donut tradition started with Grandparents on the Jersey Shore back when we were kids… I thought it was interesting that Lauren and I both eat donuts on vacation and really try not to otherwise.

I balanced out mny donut eating with some of this delish yellow watermelon! I had never seen it before- it tasted almost exactly the same... I do think color perception with food adds a slight flavor difference.

I balanced out mny donut eating with some of this delish yellow watermelon! I had never seen it before- it tasted almost exactly the same… 

The beaches in Nantucket are also beautiful. Also, I'm a sucker for a good sun lens flare.

The beaches in Nantucket are also beautiful… Also, I’m a sucker for a good sun lens flare.

Cisco Beach has a surf school where they rent boards, wetsuits and offer lessons. The waves were perfect learning height this day!

Cisco Beach has a surf school where they rent boards, wetsuits and offer lessons. The waves were perfect learning height this day!

Cousin Ella wants to learn how to surf so KF took her out on a boogie board to get started.

Cousin Ella wants to learn how to surf so KF took her out on a boogie board to get started… Amazing wave catching! I think she might be a natural! BTW, these waves look just like my wave cookies don’t they?

I did my best to relax but it is hard for me to sit completely still so I made a few bracelets and gathered some other inspiration...

I did my best to relax but it is hard for me to sit completely still so I made a few bracelets and gathered some other inspiration…

A wood cut our loch ness monster got me to thinking about a DIY we can do at home...

This wood cut out loch ness monster got me to thinking about a much needed DIY we can do at home…

...and wouldn't this be an amazing cookie cutter?

…and wouldn’t this be an amazing cookie cutter?

We so loved visiting Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket! We left rested, relaxed and inspired… I love vacation but am always happy to get home too!

Time's a wasting... get your feet in the sand this week if you can!

Time’s a wasting… get your feet in the sand this week if you can!

One week left of official Summer is always a bit bittersweet, but as always, I am excited for Fall and Holiday Season and all the fun stuff we we will have coming up for the Holidays. Happy last week of Summer! Get out there and enjoy it! Xo Dani