Wednesday, June 7, 2023

9 Simple Summer Dinner Ideas for Your Family

I've been cooking like crazy now that Summer is here.  My crew seems to be hungry 24/7 so I'm always fixing a meal, cleaning up a meal or prepping for the next meal.  I really do love to cook so I'm not complaining.  It just takes a lot of extra time and planning to be ready to feed my family all day long.  I have some really simple dinner ideas to share with you this month!  

These nine meals are all crowd pleasers with my crew - ages 3 to grown ups.  The kids loved these meals and so did the adults.  And they are all quick prep meals which feels perfect for this time of year.  Win-win for everyone!

Let's get started!  I hope you find a meal idea or two that you can try with your own family.  

My best meal prep tip has been that I have made a little extra each night at dinner and saved the leftovers for my lunch the following day.  It feels so good to have a nice and easy lunch to heat up for myself in the middle of a busy day.

 1 // Breakfast for dinner

I tried something new and it was a big hit!  I cut up a can of cinnamon rolls into bite size pieces and baked them in a 9x9 pan.  It took longer to bake than the usual 8 minutes the whole rolls require.  Then I drizzled the icing on top.  My family almost died and went to heaven.  They LOVED this meal so much.  I served ham & cheesey scrambled eggs, little smokies and fruit. 


Leftovers for an easy lunch the next day:


2 // Italian Nachos

Spread all of your favorite pizza toppings on tortilla chips and melt the cheese in the oven.  Dip your nachos in marinara.  Yum!  We like turkey pepperoni, turkey sausage crumbles and mozzarella cheese.  Kevin loves black olives, onions and peppers.  The kids just like meat and cheese. 

3 // Keilbasa sausage with sides

My family loves the Uncle Bens Long Grain and Wild Rice mix so much.  It's the easiest side for about $1 and I usually make two boxes for my crew.  I roasted broccoli and onions and served the keilbasa with fruit.  I just slice it and brown it in a skillet.  Kevin and I love the chicken apple sausages from Sams and the kids love the turkey Keilbasa.  This meal is so easy and so good!

4 // Roast & sides

I like to pick up the Hormel Roast Au Jus packages for dinner.  One will feed our family if I make sure to have hearty sides.  I served it again with our favorite Uncle Ben's rice, green beans and onions and cantaloupe.

5 // BBQ Chicken Naan Bread Pizzas

I love the small naan bread at Aldi - it makes the best pizza crust.  I used canned chicken, our favorite bbq sauce and cheese/onions on top.  Bake the pizzas until the cheese is melty and serve with easy sides like baby carrots and apple slices.  My kids don't love the bbq pizza so I make them cheese pizzas or toast plain naan bread for them.

6 // Burger Night

Kevin's back to grilling now that the weather is nice.  Olive requested his burgers for her birthday dinner.  He made smash burgers for us on the Blackstone and they were so good!  We had all the toppings and I made yummy sides of roasted potatoes that my kids dip in ketchup like fries, mac & cheese and fruit.  I love when Kevin takes care of the meat on the grill and I can do the sides quickly inside.

Leftover lunch the next day:


7 // Brats & Hot Dogs

Most of us like grilled brats and the boys like hot dogs.  Kevin grills them all on the Blackstone and I made sides - corn on the cob, fruit salad and tator tots.  We also discovered a mulberry bush nearby so we made some mulberry lemonade to go with our dinner.

8 // Charcuterie Board

We had another yummy charcuterie board!  I added our favorite pepperoni breadsticks and cleaned out all the fruits, veggies, crackers and cheese we had.  This is our favorite combo - something everyone loves to eat!

9 // Carne Asada Pulled Pork

We are still loving this Sams Carne Asada Pulled Pork. It's delicious for taco night and it's such an easy main dish to heat up and serve.  It's delicious leftover, too.  It's about $13 a container for one big dinner and a couple of leftover lunches.  

The adults love to make soft tacos and the kids do a mix of taco bowls or nachos.  I make all the usual taco toppings and serve corn on the cob or fruit or both!  I look forward to this meal every time we have it and the leftovers are delicious!

Did you find a meal you'd like to make for your family this summer?  I hope so!  Leave me a comment and let me know what your family would enjoy!

Monday, June 5, 2023

7 Summer Amazon Favorites

I'm so excited to share my Summer Amazon favorites with you today!  My list is short and sweet and we love every single thing on this list.  My kids LOVE #1 and I have a tie for my favorite item to recommend to you.  It would have to be #7 or #3, but #2 makes my life easier on road trips.


7 Summer Amazon Must Haves:

1 // 12 Piece Reusable Water Balloons for Kids WHDPETS

I bought a set for each of my kids and I know these are going to be such a hit all summer long.  We fill up a big bucket or a small baby pool as a refilling station and then they play and cool off with their water balloons. I love the no mess option unlike traditional water balloons and I bet your kids would love them, too!  They come in several different size sets and there is a coupon that you can click and add to this purchase right now.


2 // Vomit Bags - MP MOXXPAK Vomit Bags

If you've been around here for a while, you know one of my kids really struggles with car sickness and we have tried everything.  The best solution we've come up with is to be prepared for vomit when it happens.  Yuck.  These bags are lifesavers.  They are easy for kids to use and so easy to contain any vomit mess.  We never get in the car without them.  We have been purchasing these for years and swear by them.  They really do help contain the mess completely and help an unpleasant situation a little easier. 

3 // XTERRA Fitness TR150 Folding Treadmill

Kevin surprised me with this treadmill for Mother's Day after ours had been broken for over a year.  I was so excited to get it!  I love having a workout option to do while the kids sleep, nap or play.  It's great when the weather is extreme or unpleasant outside.  And I feel a million times better after a 30 minute walk.  This treadmill is so sturdy and so easy to use.  It lives in our office right now and Kevin and I both love using it. 

4 //3 Pack Mini Magnetic Bead Board for Kids Magnetic Drawing Board

I grabbed these for the kids for Summer road trips.  They are so much fun to play with!  I think they'll all have fun using them in the car and on vacation. 


5 // Ravensburger World of Disney Eye Spy card game

My kids love the original version of this game and I got them the new version to take on vacation!  It's so cheap and so fun! 


6 // Cats in the Cradle string game

Olive is ten and got this for her birthday.  She's obsessed with learning all the formations and playing the cats in the cradle game with me.  It brought back good memories of my childhood where I did all the same things. 

7 // EOOUT 24 piece Mesh Zipper Pouch Zipper Bags

I am in love with these zipper pouches.  I've gifted them to friends and we use them all over the house.  I love them for makeup, swim bags, backpacks, summer craft supplies like crayons and colored pencils, car organizers, purse organizers and accessory organizers. They hold snacks for my kids when we are out and about and I love them so much.  They have several different sets and there is a coupon you can clip for them right now! 

Did anything catch your eye for your family this Summer??

Linking up with Tanya for Prime Purchases today!

Friday, June 2, 2023

Friday Favorites

Happy 1st Friday of Summer!  We've had a busy week here with the holiday, Olive turning 10, parties, camps and fun.  

My favorite moments of the week were:

1 // This Time and Tru Midi T-shirt dress from Walmart

It comes in black and white and pink and orange.  I got both and love wearing them both with a belt.  They can be casual or a little dressy and the price is great.  I wore it out on our date with Olive and it's perfect.

2 // Playscapes

A brand new indoor play place opened near our house recently and we went to check it out.  We were on the only ones there and it's FREE!  The kids had the best time.  It's rare to find free indoor fun options for Summer and we'll definitely be back to The Hills church to play.

3 // Basketball Camp

Olive had basketball camp this week and it was fun!  One of her school friends invited her to go.  It was hard work with the high school girls and it was exciting to watch her improve.  She said it was fun, but she was there for the friends.

4 // Jordan Bakery Box

New cookie alert: Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies!  They've got two different chocolate chips and cocoa in them.  They taste like a brownie, but better.

Leo loves being my taste tester.  I had a big birthday order this week.  He's always happy to eat the cookies that don't make the cut.

5 // Summer meals are more fun!

Give us all the berries and fresh produce!  I'm also drowning in dishes and kitchen clean up because these cute kids seem to snack and eat all day long now that they're home all day.  It's hard to keep the place clean.

6 // Topher

Olive got a new bean bag chair and all the cats love it.  So do all the kids.  It's a hot spot!

7 // New treadmill!

Did I tell you I got a new treadmill for Mother's Day?!?  Hooray!  I've missed having one so it feels great to be back in a walking routine at nap time every day.  It's small, but really sturdy.  It folds down and Kevin and I have both really enjoyed walking on it so far. 

8 // Flower Explosion

My pots are filling in so nicely!!  Look at all these pretty colors.  I think this is my favorite backyard cluster of pots.

And this are my favorite front yard flowers.  I've been watering them every night and they seem to love my full sun set up.

We have 4 robin eggs filling our nest again!  This robin is being a great mom to them.  We're hoping to watch another set of babies grow.

9 // Mulberries

Fletcher found a mulberry tree by our house and we picked a big bowl of berries.  They're messy and so sweet.  We made mulberry lemonade, added mulberries to our smoothies and I am hoping to make some mulberry muffins.  Do you have any tips for things I should make with these mulberries?

10 // Cat in the Cradle

Olive got a string and Cats in the Cradle book for her birthday.  She's loved learning all kinds of tricks like this tea cup and saucer.  We've had fun playing many rounds of cats in the cradle.  This set was something I grabbed last minute for her birthday and it was one of her favorite gifts. 

11 // Olive turned 10

Olive had a really great birthday!  This bean bag chair is giant and she loves it!  It has great reviews on Amazon and it could fit all three kids to watch a movie.  We are moving it up to her room soon for a cozy reading spot.  It comes in tons of colors and is a fun teen gift! 

12 // Mini Golf

Kevin took the big kids mini golfing and they had lots of fun!  He said they each got a hole in one.

13 // Fireworks

Kevin surprised Olive with "a few" fireworks for her birthday since it fell on Memorial Day this year.  She loved the extra festivities and Leo decided that fireworks weren't so bad after all.

14 // Critters

The boys like to help me water flowers and Fletcher found a new friend.  This giant creature hopped out of one of my flowers pots when he went to water them.  He thought it was awesome.

15 // Books

We're currently reading The Penderwicks together and we made a trip to the library to stock up on books for Summer.


I hope the month of June brings lots of happiness and Summer fun your way!

Linking up with Momfessionals

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

A Mushroom Themed 10th Birthday

Olive had her heart set on a mushroom themed birthday party and we made it happen!  It's the perfect time of year to find all these cute red and white polka-dot mushrooms in stores with fairy garden supplies.  I've been collecting things at Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Amazon and more.  Olive was thrilled with her party.  She had the best time designing invitations with me to text out to family and the weather couldn't have been more perfect for her parties.  We hosted my family the first night and Kevin's family the second night.

Come see all of our mushroom fun!

I love grabbing fresh flowers for her parties and this mix of Alstroemeria was perfect!

We worked together on Canva to make her party invitations.  They turned out so cute!  And they were free to make and text out.

Welcome to the mushroom party!  I added some mushrooms to my boxwood wreath.  And our house colors just happened to match the party decor perfectly.

Then I added in mushrooms to all my regular decor.  Since her bedroom has a mushroom theme, the party decorations will end up being cute things like book ends in her bedroom.

I made the mushroom garland out of mushroom pot holders and it was darling!  It's still up on our mantle because I just can't bring myself to take it down yet.

We had a tray of s'mores ingredients for dessert plus my mom and sister brought Olive's favorite desserts - fried ice cream and molasses cookies.

We gave out big bags of bubble gum balls to all the kids as party favors.

I opted for mushroom lanterns instead of a balloon garland.

Then we had a pasta bar with salad, broccoli and bread for dinner.  I made the whole dinner and then asked for some help with dessert.

We played in the backyard all evening!

These cute cousins are all 10!

Perfect weather, perfect party, perfect girl!!

Olive got lots of adorable mushroom things!  My sister made her this mushroom purse.  She got mushroom pillows for her bed and a cute jewelry making set.

Party #2 was just as fun!

She requested carrot cake cupcakes and yellow cupcakes along with Snickerdoodles.  I made all the desserts and opted to order pizza for dinner.

She made us matching earrings to wear for the party.

We served pizza and bread sticks with fruit.  It was so easy and so good!

She got some really fun gifts again.  Her uncle surprised her by 3D printing her favorite animal - an axolotl!!  She loved it!

Her cousin Addy made sure to wear her mushroom tee to the party!

We loved getting to see Grandma and all of the Jordan side of the family.

Another night of perfect weather!

She got the veggie squad of Squishmallows, a birthday cake Squishmallow and the cutest mushroom blanket.

This pastel Lego set makes the cutest figures!

The mushroom parties were a big success!  She felt loved and loved how everything came together.  I love themed parties for the kids.  It's one of my very favorite hobbies.  

And this concludes the March, April, May birthday marathon for our kids!