EntertainingTime Out

Starbucks strawberries and cream Frappuccino copycat – Bubble snake – Sprinkler games –  Floating flower & candle holders – Hanging flower vase – Hollywood fruit dip – Soda pop bottle mosquito trap –  Ice bowls – Sangria – Chocolate mousse – July birthstone and flower


Mary Canovas

We´re smack in the middle of a long hot summer and I´ve got so many ideas for you to enjoy these days with friends and family but there is a big problem. Due to editorial limit on space (1500 words max per article), and being the crafty person that I am (that´s a pun by the way), I´m going to try out something different. I am relying on you to tell me if it works or if you prefer me to go back to writing everything in my column in English.

The idea is, I´ll only give you ingredients and materials in English and then I´ll link you to the craft or recipe on my show. The catch:  the show is in Spanish. Most of our readers are bilingual so it should be okay. But for everyone else, I´m pretty sure that you´ll be able to follow all the explanations in the videos and won´t have too much of a problem because you will have the necessary materials here in English.


Starbucks Strawberries and Cream Frappuccino Copycat 

A delicious strawberries and cream Starbucks-style Frappuccino. Made with ice cream but lighter than a regular milkshake. Very easy to make, perfect for these summer days.

Go to video for complete details:

strawberry frapuccino


  • 1 cup or 240 ml. whole milk
  • 3/4 cup or 190 ml. vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup or 60 ml. strawberry syrup or jam
  • 2-3 ice cubes
  • 6 fresh strawberries cut in pieces
  • whipped cream



Color Bubble Snakes

Young and old alike will have fun with this one. Check out the video for how to:


snake bubbles


  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Water
  • Soda Pop Bottle
  • cloth, Rubber Band
  • Food coloring
  • For mix use: 1 part dishwashing liquid to 2 parts water. CAUTION: Not for under 3 years old. Warn children not to inhale while they are blowing so the liquid doesn´t go into their mouth.


Sprinkler Water Games

Recycle your old soda pop bottles and have great summertime fun at the beach, pool or yard with the kids. Follow the video tutorial:sprinkler


Material: 1 Soda pop bottle, knitting needle, candle



Floating Flower and Candle Holders


Lovely transparent floating flowers that hold candles or flowers,  real or silk. They cost nothing because they are made of recycled PET soda pop bottles and so easy that absolutely everyone can make them.

Use them as candleholders on the dinner table or floating in a small or large glass bowl of colored water filled with flowers and candles as a centerpiece. You will spend hours coming up with different things to put inside these floating flowers. And for a summer party, fill your pool or fountain with floating flowers and candles. The effect is elegant and mesmerizing as they move with every breeze.

Materials:floating flowers

  • Soda pop plastic bottle
  • scissors
  • candle
  • cutter



Hanging Flower Vase with Recycled PET Bottles


With so many flowers during this season, this is perfect to show them off. Easy to make, they look great in groups of 2 or 3 hanging at different heights. See video.

Materials:hanging vase

  • Recycled soda pop bottle and cap,
  • cutter,
  • scissors,
  • knitting needle,
  • candle,
  • string or yarn


Hollywood Fruit Dip


Alongside your favorite savory dips for chips or raw vegetables, there´s a great dessert or anytime favorite – the fruit dip. Our Hollywood Fruit Dip is elegant and ready on the spur of the moment for those unexpected guests. Have the ingredients in the fridge and you can whip it up in 5 minutes flat. Serve in our ice bowls (see below) for added panache.

fruit dip


  • 1 cup – 230 gr. Philadelphia cream cheese softened (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup – 230 ml. cold whipping or heavy cream or cold liquid cream
  • 1/4 cup – preferably 4 tablespoons brown sugar (but you can use regular)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel (zest)

Serve with bite size pieces of fresh fruits: -strawberries, bananas, apples, kiwis, raspberries, pineapple, grapes, melon, also cake and cookies.
*** Do not forget to put some lemon juice over the bananas and apples so they don´t oxidize and turn brown.


Soda Pop Bottle Mosquito Trap

Check out how to:

mosquito trapThis is an ecological, simple, practical and economical craft. If you have problems with insecticides or don´t like using chemicals and prefer a green alternative, this is a homemade solution.
It can be used inside the home or in the garden. It contains no harmful products or chemicals. In fact, it isn´t even harmful for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are not attracted to our “sweet blood” as our grandmothers used to tell us. The real culprit is the carbon dioxide we exhale. The mixture of ingredients in this trap produces carbon dioxide which is what attracts them. The rest is mechanical as they enter a trap from which they can´t escape.


  • 200 ml of water
  • 50 grams sugar
  • 1 gram yeast
  • 2 liter coca cola bottle


Ice Bowls

Check out instructions in video tutorial

• Super Easy to make, economical, perfect for summer. You can use them for a large centerpiece or as individual bowls.
• Can be made in advance and frozen
• You can put food directly into ice (cold soups) or for dips.  (Place the dip in a container then put it into the ice bowl.)
• Make them with regular or colored ice.
• Decorate with all kinds of leaves, citrus, flowers, natural and artificial.
***CAUTION: Just remember if you are putting your food directly inside the bowl without a container, these must not be poisonous. Check out web for safe flowers and leaves.

Uses:ice bowls
Fruit, salad, cold soups like gazpacho, vichyssoise, cold Dips Philadelphia cream or cheese, shrimp cocktail, etc.. salads, fruit, sangria pitcher or champagne bottles (with a little crushed ice around the bottle in the ice bowl).


  • Two bowls, one larger than the other, leaving a distance of about 1.5 cm (3/4 “) between them.
  • Scotch Tape
  •  Bag of rice, frozen peas, canned preserves, etc. for weight.
  • Freezer
  • OPTIONAL: food coloring, flowers, leaves (natural or artificial), citrus




This is a basic recipe without carbonated water or soda. For a lighter version just add 1/2 liter Sprite or Casera to the mix
Watch how to:


  • 1 cup orange juice.
  • 1 bowl unpeeled orange pieces
  • 1 bowl peach slices unpeeled
  • 1 bowl unpeeled apple slices
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite liqueur Cointreau
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
  • 1 liter of red wine
  • Ice to taste



Easy Chocolate Mousse

This one is delicious AND easy. Give it a try. No slaving over a hot stove either. Enjoy!
Check out the video tutorial

chocolate mousseIngredients:

  • 1 cup or 150 gr. Dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon or 15g. butter
  • 3 cups or 700ml. Heavy or whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup 55 gr. sugar



lady di


Happy Birthday to All July Babies!

Some famous people born in July: Princess Di, Tom Cruise, Dalai Lama, Julius Caesar, Pamela Anderson, Rembrandt, Harrison Ford.julius ceasar

Ruby – July Birthstone
The ruby is known as the King of Gemstones. Due to its bright red color, it is held in high esteem as a symbol of love, strength, power, and luck. The ruby has been the gem of the brave and the royal throughout the ages. It was worn by kings to give them power and to protect them from evil. Rubies are thought to have the property to turn deeper in color, and this was believed by some to indicate danger or misfortune. Catherine of Aragon is said to have predicted her own death because of the darkening of a ruby ring. The fiery glow of this gem was believed to be due to an internal flame that could never be extinguished. Although its color may range from orange red to purplish red, the pure red variety of ruby is the most prized one.tom cruise

Properties of the Ruby

ruby 1
The traditional properties of the ruby are strength, vitality, and courage, integrity, devotion, and happiness. It is used to generate energy, positive thought pattern, generosity, success, and prosperity for the wearer. Its wearer is believed to be blessed with increase in wealth, love, passion and protection against troubles.
Gem therapists believe that wearing a ruby helps to detoxify the body, blood and lymph nodes.delphinium

Delphinium – July Birth Flower
Delphinium symbolizes lightness and levity and expresses an open heart.



All photos have been provided by Mary except the featured two jars of sangria which is by Tamorlan, used here under the Creative CommonsAttribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.