Wednesday, May 27, 2015

20 Summer MUST DO Family Activities

I can’t believe it…..Friday and my girls are out of school! I love having them home and I love to have adventures with them each summer. Summer seems to be the perfect time to try new things and go places that you have never went before! It’s time to make memories! I don’t know if you’re like me but if I have a plan, things go much smoother and we really accomplish something, instead of looking back on the summer months as a missed opportunity. Sure, I like to do the spur of the moment kind of thing but my creative juices seem work better when I have inspiration.
So, here’s a little inspiration for you and then the sky’s the limit!
  1. Go to an drive in movie:There aren’t many around but how much fun would it be to watch a movie under the stars in your favorite bean bag chair.
  2. Dance in the rain: This should be easy, we have had tons of rain! Crank up the music and dance. Mom and dad, don’t just watch the kids, join in!
  3. Slumber party: Pitch the tent in the backyard or sleep under the stars and have a family slumber party.
  4. Family pictures: Make it your quest to visit 5 different photo booths and get your family pictures done! It doesn’t matter how many is in your family, squeeze on in and say “cheese”!
  5. Hobby night: Pick a designated night and each week, let each family member take a turn picking a hobby, that they would love to explore. You will learn so much from your kids and you might find out that you want to be a bug collector when you grow up!
  6. Go to a outdoor music concert: A great time to introduce your family to different kinds of music. In Utah, there are free concerts and I’m sure it’s the same in other states.
  7. Food truck dinner: Food trucks are everywhere. You can look on Facebook or on your favorite trucks site to see where they will be. It gets you out of the kitchen and gives you a little adventure for the night.
  8. Road trip: As a family, pick 5 cities in your state that you have never visited before. Visit their museum, eat at one of their local restaurants and get to know the history of the town.
  9.  Sign up for a 5k: Okay, I’m not a runner but you can always walk it and you can even push your little ones in a stroller. Great way to promote healthy living to your kids, and it would be fun.
  10. Go berry picking: You might grow your own berries but what fun would you have if you visited a farm with massive fields? You can see who can fill their bucket the highest, then go home and make some yummy jam together.
  11. Book club: Choose a book that everyone in the family would love and make it come alive! Treat it just like a book club you would have with your friends.
  12. Nature hike: Where ever you live, I’m sure you have amazing places to visit. Pick 5 different hikes in your area and explore. It’s really fun if you make a simple list of things that your kids need to find on the hike. Click here for some ideas!
  13. Be a tourist in your town: Check out your town’s website to get an idea of what it considers “tourist attractions” and set aside a day to go explore each and every one of them.
  14. Luau in your backyard: I’m not going to Hawaii anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have Hawaii in your backyard. The Dollar Store always has luau decorations and that’s the first step to a great party!
  15. Fireworks: In Utah, each town has their own celebration and that brings fireworks! Make a plan and try to hit as many firework displays as you can before the summer is over!
  16. Make a family movie: Have one child write the script, someone else can decide on wardrobe and etc.. This will be the best home movie ever! Can you imagine the memories!
  17. Water balloon fight: Fill the balloons and get the squirt guns ready, now let the fun begin!
  18. Treat Tuesday: Every Tuesday have a different treat!
  19. Night time picnic: Get out your lanterns and blankets. Serve dinner outside under the stars!
  20. Photo Scavenger Hunt: Everyone has a phone nowadays. Make a list, send some kids with dad and send some kids with mom and see who can finish the list first! Click here for some ideas!
The most important thing, take a picture of each activity and make a scrapbook of the summer’s adventures!
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

One Skillet Honey Sesame Chicken

sesame chicken 2

On Sunday, we always have some of our cute kids for dinner. I love it because it doesn’t matter how big they get, they are still your babies. The only problems I have, is that they all have different tastes in food! I have really daring kids and kids that love the safe choices. My Ben, comes every other Sunday and he always claims we have the best food when he’s not there. The crazy thing is, he was my hand model in the BBQ Chicken Dip and that’s one of the recipes he says, we ate without him.

The other problem, lots of dishes with that many mouths to feed! That’s why I have been loving the one skillet meals, less dishes! My husband is my hardest critique to please and always gives me his opinion if he likes it or if it’s ready to share with you. This one got two thumbs up! I’m excited for you to try it and I hope you love it as much as we did!

sesame chicken 3

Ingredients: Click to Print

8 Chicken thighs

2 Tablespoons butter

sesame seeds

5 green onion, sliced


1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 Tablespoons ketchup

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

1 Tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon dried ginger

1 to 3 teaspoons Sriracha

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon pepper


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients with a whisk and then set aside.
  • In a oven proof skillet, melt 2 Tablespoons butter on a medium heat. Place the chicken to pan and cook until golden brown.
  • With a pair of tongs, dip your chicken pieces into the sauce and return them back to the skillet. Pour remaining sauce on top of the chicken.
  • Place skillet into the oven and cook until completely done. It will take about 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle sesame seeds and green onions on top of the dish and then enjoy!

sesame chicken

Thanks for Stopping By!


Monday, May 25, 2015

Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party #60

lou lou girls linky party

Happy Memorial Day, Everyone! Thank you to everyone that shared their amazing projects last week! I’m always so impressed by the incredible masterpieces that are shared at our party! WE SERIOUSLY LOVE YOU!  We couldn’t have such a fabulous party without you. Please spread the word and if you have your own party, please let us know and we would love to party with you twice a week! Now on to this week’s Party!

  • Link up your furniture makeovers, DIY projects, home decor, crafts, recipes, thrifty finds and archive loves. We want to see whatever is inspiring you, but please make sure it’s your own creation, and not adult content.
  • We would love to have you follow along with us!
  • We will be back every Tuesday with our favorites and a brand new party!
  • We will PIN and TWEET each and every post who join the party!

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Hello beautiful show us what you got

Low Fat Strawberry Cheesecake

low fat cheesecake1

 At our house, we LOVE cheesecake! And because of that fact, we are always trying to find new variations of the classic. I was listening to the Today Show when I was working on the blog and they talked about making cheesecake with a 1/3 of the calories and the taste was amazing! I heart skipped a beat because that sounded like heaven to my ears. I set out to make this recipe happen. I used the Today Show’s recipe as the basis of our recipe and tweaked it a little.

Seriously, this tastes amazing and your family will totally fall in love with it and the best thing, it has LESS calories! Get ready to be amazed!

 low fat cheesecake3

 Ingredients: click to print

1 cup skim ricotta cheese

1 cup low fat cottage cheese

2 egg whites

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon cornstarch


pre made graham cracker crusts


  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  • In a blender, combine the ricotta cheese and cottage cheese until smooth.
  • Add egg whites, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and cornstarch and blend until completely mixed.
  • Fill your pre made graham cracker crusts with cheesecake mixture, and place onto a cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until mixture looks firm and starts to crack a little. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  • Garnish with fresh strawberries or any kind of fruit that your family loves!!

low fat cheesecake

Sunday, May 24, 2015

15 Busy Bag Ideas for Nursery Age Kids

One of my friends hosted a Busy Bag swap party the other day and I couldn't go and I was so sad! Busy bags are awesome for church but Cooper just recently grew out of most of his stuff so I had to add some new things. these are some of his favorites!

1. Slinky
2. Cars
3. Necklaces
5. Brush
6. Mirror
7. Chalkboard
8. Dry Erase board
9. Puzzle
10. Pom poms
11. Magnets
12. Glow sticks
13. Crayons and Paper
14. Silly Putty
15. Big glasses

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Amazing Dirty Rice

Ben and I are trying to eat healthier so I made some make ahead lunches from for him to take to work. We were both skeptical at first about whether or not they would taste good. As soon as I tasted this rice though I was in heaven. It is soooo good! I gave it to my one year old too and he devoured it, so I wanted to make the recipe smaller so that I could make it just for a meal, but if you want to make some delicious lunches head on over here!

1.5 C brown rice
2.5 C water
Olive Oil
1/2 red onion
4 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch scallions
1 lb ground turkey
red pepper
garlic powder
chili powder
cayenne pepper
salt & pepper
1/4 bunch of cilantro

1. Put in rice, water, and olive into a medium pot and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer without opening for 40 min, making sure the water hasn't all evaporated.

2. Meanwhile, dice onion, chop garlic, and slice scallions.

3. Cook vegetables with 1 TBS of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

4. Add turkey to the skillet and cook for about 10 min until browned.

5. Add diced red pepper and season with the seasonings to taste.

6. Stir in half a bunch of cilantro, finely chopped.

7. Add cooked brown rice and adjust seasonings to taste.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Date Night Challenge

It's true, I'll be the first to admit it. I read every single one of those "Mistakes You're Making That Could Ruin Your Relationship" posts I see on Facebook. Not because I'm super worried I'm making mistakes, but because my marriage is the absolute most important thing in the world to me. There is so much nonsense out there telling us that relationships aren't important, or that marriage should be easy, or that divorce is for anyone and everyone. Call me a hopeless romantic but I'm not buying it. And judging by the fact that "Date Ideas" are some of our most sought after posts, you aren't either!

Whether your married, engaged, or in a casual relationship dating is soo soo important. That's why we decided to start doing our Date Night Challenge! Every Friday we are going to issue a challenge. Their will be three challenges in varying levels. Level 1: Crush, level 2: Love, Level 3: Devoted. You can complete the one that fits your relationship best, or complete all three for the ultimate date experience!

A good date needs four things: 1. You feel attractive, 2. You find your date attractive, 3. both people feel a strong emotion, and 4. You leave with something that reminds you of the date. Our goal is to help you bring more of these elements into your regular dating routine, and get you out of your comfort zone so that you can continually build your relationship.

So... It's a Friday, why not give our Date Night Challenge a try!

-- T  H  I  S     W  E  E  K  '  S     C  H  A  L  L  E  N  G  E --

May 22: This week's challenge is to make sure your sweetheart hears some sweet nothings throughout the night!

Crush: Whisper a compliment in his/her ear every chance you get.
Love: Write down a list of compliments/things you appreciate and give it to him/her on the date. 
Devoted: Create a cute craft out of your list to make sure it is something treasured forever!!

-- P  R  E  V  I  O  U  S    C  H  A  L  L  E  N  G  E  S --

May 15: Have a night in and enjoy each other's company in the comfort of your own home!

Crush: Order some take out and cuddle up for a movie night.
Love: Have a low-key, pajama-wearing, cereal dinner under a fort in your living room. 
Devoted: Have a "bonfire" in your kitchen complete with hot dogs and s'mores!

May 8: Do something on your date that is worthy of remembering and find or create a token that will help you remember it!

Crush: Take a photo of what you did on the date.
Love: Save a pamphlet, ticket stub, program etc. from a place that you go.
Devoted: Keep something and make a piece of jewelry out of it. (even wrappers work!)

May 1: PDA (public display of affection) doesn't have to be gross! If your significant other's love language is touch, they will love this challenge!

Crush: Hold hands as often as possible.
Love: Put your arms around each other as often as possible.
Devoted: Instead of verbally saying thank you when needed throughout the night, give your guy/gal a kiss!

April 24: How often do you truly share how you feel about your significant other? This week's challenge is to make sure they know!

Crush: As you're out and about, be sure to point out things that they do that you like right as you see them.
Love: Devote a moment to telling them why you love them and what exactly they do that makes you happy.
Devoted: Actually write down how you feel and present it to them in a thoughtful way.

April 17: Photos make the best memories (like the one above of my husband and I at prom)! This week's challenge is all about pictures!

Crush: Snap a couple selfies while you're out and about.
Love: Have someone else take photos of you at memorable moments of your date. (a.k.a. make sure the date you plan is a photo worthy one!)
Devoted: Spend the night in looking through old photos and videos of you and your sweetheart!

March 27: This week's challenge is all about your humble abode. It's the place you probably spend the most time together, why not make it a place you love!

Crush: Rearrange the furniture together or do some handy work you've been putting off.
Love: Buy or make some new furniture or create a work of art together to hang in your house. (pinterest project!!)
Devoted: Actually sit down and plan out your dream house whether it's upgrading your current one or finding something new. Set some goals and plan out a budget that will get you there!

March 27: This week's date night challenge is to bring back your childhood.
Crush: Eat at your favorite childhood restaurant.
Love: Play a game you loved as a kid like battle ship or hopscotch.
Devoted: Get out and go somewhere you loved as a kid like an arcade or Chuckie Cheese!

March 20: This week's date night challenge is to get wet!! Or at least out on some water.
Crush: Hit the dollar store and pick out some mini squirt guns and have a squirt gun fight.
Love: Have dinner out by a lake at sunset!
Devoted: Rent a canoe (they are only like $20 bucks!) and paddle around the lake! Bonus if you "fall in".

March 13: When we first got married we decided to try long boarding and it was so fun to learn together! Don't get stuck in a rut doing the same things over and over, this date night challenge is to try something new!
Crush: Go somewhere neither of you have been before for dinner. Bonus points if it's foreign!
Love: Buy a new board game that you've never played and make a night of it!
Devoted: Take a homeless person to dinner and get to know them! Unless of course you've done that... then you can play it safe and take someone you don't know well yet, like another couple, a cousin, a sibling, or a grandparent.

March 6: This date night challenge is to make it sports themed in honor of March Madness!

Crush: Get out moving and play a sport together.
Love: Get ready for March Madness (or any other up coming sports event you like) and read up on some players and teams. It'll make the season a lot more fun for both of you!
Devoted: Buy tickets to a game or at least some swag to deck out in while you cheer on your teams! 

February 27: Do something out of the ordinary and surprise your significant other!
Crush: Send them some flowers or candy, who doesn't get excited about that!
Love: Be waiting for them at their work and whisk them away to a fun-filled night!
Devoted: Buy tickets to a sports game, play, movie or whatever their into and don't tell them where you're going until you get there!!

February 19: Kick the winter blues away and do something that reminds you of summer!
Crush: Go for a walk outside in the fresh air. (Hand in hand of course!!)
Love: Cold or not, pull out the BBQ and do some grilling.
Devoted: Never mind how white you are, put on your swim suit and hit the pool! If you have kids bring them along, or find a hot tub for you and your hubby to sneak away to ;)

February 6: This challenge was inspired by the fact that yesterday my husband and I actually worked out because we stole each other's phones and wouldn't give them back until we both worked out. It was kind of sad how motivating it was, but at least it'll get results right?? This week's challenge is no electronics!!

Crush: Turn off your cell phone and actually give your significant other your full attention the whole night. 
Love: Turn off all electronic media! That includes TV's, radios, phones, etc.
Devoted: Kick it even more old school and turn off ALL electronics included the lights! Candlelight is sooo romantic!

January 30: My husband and I like to keep it simple on Valentine's Day and avoid the crowds by going extravagant early, so your challenge is to get the romance started early by dressing it up!

Crush: Wear nice clothes (that means skirt and tie!) on your date. 
Love: Go a little fancier on dinner. This doesn't have to mean the La Caille or Chef's Table, but it could! There are also quite a few decent priced fancier restaurants you could try, like La Jolla Groves.
Devoted: Get caught up in a slow dance! Bonus points if there's a live band, but nothing says romance more than turning on your favorite love song and swaying back and forth under a street light.

January 23: The idea for this challenge was inspired by the fact that my husband is out of town and little Cooper is going to be subbing in. This week's challenge is to bring someone else along!

Crush: Bring your kids and show them how to treat the opposite gender on a date! 
Love: Bring a younger brother, sister, or neighbor and show them what dating is all about! Don't forget to ask them about their secret crushes ;)
Devoted: Bring along your grandparents! They'll love a night out and telling you all about how dating was different back in their day!

January 15: Getting out and having fun doesn't need to be pricey or extravagant. Dress it down and go casual tonight!

Crush: Wear sweats and watch a movie.  
Love: Hit up your favorite fast food restaurant. Not the drive in though, you've got to dine in!
Devoted: Make dinner with some friends and play some board games! 

January 9: Laughing together is a huge part of growing closer! Make sure that happens on tonights date!

Crush: Make a conscious effort to get your special someone laughing tonight!  
Love: Take some time and research some funny youtube videos, then pop some popcorn and get ready to laugh! (Here are some good places to start! Clean Youtube VideosStudio C)
Devoted: Actually go to a comedy club or see a comedian perform! (I know where we're going, Comedy Sportz!!)

January 2: Nothing says "love" more than giving. With the Christmas spirit still looming in the air, start the New Year off with a little service for others.
Crush: Use this list of Random Acts of Kindness and do a few for others. 
Love: Plan your date around service for your significant other. (i.e. Take them somewhere you don't like but they adore, Take them shopping for something they've been eying, or clean the garage out together!) 
Devoted: While you're out at dinner, count your blessings and anonymously buy someone else's meal for them!

We want to hear from you! 

Remember how I'm a hopeless romantic? After you complete a challenge share with us what you did! Did something funny happen? Did you learn something you didn't know about your significant other? Did he say something that would make any girl swoon? Send us a message and/or a picture on our Facebook wall so we can share it!

Need some date ideas?? Check these out!