Thursday, July 2, 2015

Let's Get Real Friday Party # 97

Woot! Woot! Let's get this Friday started. Let's Get Real is all about Healthy Living. That's right! It's all about Real Food, fitness, health and wellness, and home life tips and tricks from Real people. That's you! I encourage you to take a few moments just for you.  Grab a comfortable spot to sit and enjoy getting to know some of the best bloggers I know.


Let's Get Real Friday Party


** Special Note: If you are a blogger looking for an active sharing group, we have the group for you. The Let's Get Real Facebook group has daily follow threads, support, and friendship. Come on over and join us.**

Let's Get Real Friday Party Hosts

Nicole: Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google +/Instagram - on vacation this week
Nicky:Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Gaye:Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Heather:Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Google+



I'm not big on rules (since this is what I do for fun), but I do have a couple of guidelines.


1. Follow all your hosts. We follow back! Leave a comment for us on the post and we will know you are a new follower.

 2. Please don't link and run! Follow and comment on at least three (3) other blogs. The more effort you put into getting to know everyone, the more you will get in return. Everyone is here to get more readers and traffic to their blogs so let's show them some love!

3. Let people know where you party! Add our party badge or link back to the party on your blog or post.


http://www.jugglingrealfoodandreallife.com


We will be pinning our favorites!!

My Let's Get Real Featured blogger this week is:
(Drum Roll Please)



One of my favorite parts of summer is grilling.  Everything just seems to taste better when cooked on a grill.  Now.........what should we eat with all of our grilled favorites.  Here are 26 awesome recipes to try this summer.



Monday, June 29, 2015

10 Simple Ways to Make Family Dinner Special

I love to turn ordinary days into celebrations.  I think it goes back to the days where we had absolutely no money.  I had to be creative to make things fun for my family.  I have used each of these simple tricks to turn an ordinary day into something extra special and hopefully create childhood memories to last a lifetime.  I hope your family enjoys these fun dinnertime ideas as much as my family does. 


10 Ways to Make Family Dinner Special


1.  Light Candles:  I love candles!  From those fancy home party candles to discount store candles.  I love them all.  Set up a simple candle display in the middle of the table and let the ambiance of the candlelight really set the mood for a special dinner.  It works for romance right?  It also works for kids.  They love it too!  Just make sure you use precaution when passing food........especially with the little ones.

2.  Change of Scenery:  A change of scenery really turns ho-hum into something fun.  Eat outside, in the formal dining room, or have a picnic in the living room.  Your family will really take notice that there is something different and fun about this dinner.

3.  Formal Dinner:  Put your drinks in fancy glasses and get out the good china.  Use a nice tablecloth and fabric napkins.  Even grilled cheese is more fun on fancy dishes. 

4.  Theme Night:  Really put your thinking cap on for this one and come up with some ideas on how to turn Taco Tuesday or Chinese Wednesday into a fun theme night.  Fun displays, serving pieces, and decorations can turn your regular dinner into a fun theme night. 

5.  Flowers on the Table:  Flowers on the table take things from boring to fun.  You may not think your little ones will notice the flowers, but they will.  A simple arrangement of flowers from your garden will surely get the conversation going at your dinner table.  And if Daddy wants to bring Mommy flowers.........well that will certainly earn bonus points from the whole family. 

6.  Appetizer Dinner:  My family loves appetizers.  I have plenty of practice making them for our family parties, but sometimes its fun to make a meal out of appetizers.  Make several of your family favorites and make a meal of them.  The kids will love it! 

7.  Restaurant Night:  How do you turn "leftover night" into something fun?  Call it restaurant night.  Create a quick menu or let everyone know what is available.  I have 2 pieces of chicken, 1 portion of spaghetti, grilled cheese made to order..........something like that.  Let the kids give and/or take orders and then prepare plates using your leftovers from previous meals.  Everyone eats something different at restaurants, right?

8.  Invite a Friend:  With this generation of highly scheduled children, I think many of us have lost sight of the simple practice of inviting a friend over for dinner. We usually reserve this for birthdays, but think how fun it would be to have a friend over on a random Tuesday.  Just make your regular dinner and notice how the whole family is excited to have the added element of a different face at the table.  Make sure you practice good conversation skills and include your guest in the conversation.  Try one of our favorites........ "Roses and Thorns."   

9.  Serve Dessert:  We usually don't have weeknight desserts so if I declare we are having dessert, the anticipation is high at my dinner table.  "Mom must have lost her mind...........we are having dessert! Whoohoo!  Hooray, Mom!"  Just be careful to not overdo this one. It's not special if you have dessert every night.

10. Dress Up: Formal clothes or costumes......either one can be fun.  Let the kids wear their formal Easter clothes that they only get to wear once a year.  This works really well in combination with a formal dinner night. You can also get out those old Halloween costumes for a special dinner. Imagine the fun you will have with a Ninja or Pirate or Princess at the dinner table. 

If your family thinks you are crazy........you are doing things right.  Take the boredom out of your weeknights and really shake things up with these simple ideas.  When your children look back on their childhood, they will remember how fun their family dinners were and maybe continue these fun traditions with their children...........your grandchildren. 

What is your favorite way to shake up weeknight dinners?  Have you ever tried the ideas I have listed here?  Are you already dreaming about grandchildren.......like I am?

If you are looking for help in making the transition to eating more real food, you should check out the Real Food Experience posts. You can get started at the beginning or jump around the challenges. You can find a complete round-up of the program here. Each week's challenge is full of terrific advice to help you transition from fast and processed food to a real food diet. Changes that will help you to live a healthy lifestyle and have the energy to keep up with your busy schedule. I would also love for you to join me on social media. You can find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram on a regular basis. Leave me a comment and let me know you are there. I love to visit with my readers. Yes, I'm a real person.


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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Let's Get Real Friday Party #96

Woot! Woot! Let's get this Friday started. Let's Get Real is all about Healthy Living. That's right! It's all about Real Food, fitness, health and wellness, and home life tips and tricks from Real people. That's you! I encourage you to take a few moments just for you.  Grab a comfortable spot to sit and enjoy getting to know some of the best bloggers I know.

Let's Get Real Friday Party
 
 
 
** Special Note: If you are a blogger looking for an active sharing group, we have the group for you. The Let's Get Real Facebook group has daily follow threads, support, and friendship. Come on over and join us.**
 
Let's Get Real Hosts
 
Nicole: Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google +/Instagram - on vacation this week
Nicky:Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Gaye:Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+
Heather:Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Google+



I'm not big on rules (since this is what I do for fun), but I do have a couple of guidelines.




1. Follow all your hosts. We follow back! Leave a comment for us on the post and we will know you are a new follower.

 2. Please don't link and run! Follow and comment on at least three (3) other blogs. The more effort you put into getting to know everyone, the more you will get in return. Everyone is here to get more readers and traffic to their blogs so let's show them some love!

3. Let people know where you party! Add our party badge or link back to the party on your blog or post.
 
http://www.jugglingrealfoodandreallife.com
 
We will be pinning our favorites!!

My Let's Get Real Featured blogger this week is:
(Drum Roll Please)


Cooking on a Budget
 
This light and refreshing meal is made extra special with blackberry dressing.  Beautiful ingredients and a special dressing are the way you turn an ordinary salad into something special.  
 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Family Dinner Conversation Starters: Host a Technology Dinner

Family dinnertime is my favorite time of day.  Spending time with my family is what makes all of the hard work of parenting worth the time, effort, and exhaustion.  I really do think of dinners together with my family as my parenting reward. 
 
My Family Dinner Conversation Starters series is all about my effort to make the most of dinnertime and to provide lots of ideas to help you do the same.  Let's bring the fun back to dinnertime.  For more fun dinner conversation starters for your family, you can check out "Roses and Thorns" and "Sports and Activities".





Family Dinner Conversation Starters
 


 
 I usually have a rule, "no electronics at the dinner table."  This rule goes for everyone.  Me, my husband, the teenager, the little ones.......guests.  Everybody.  My dinner table is a place for conversation with each other.  It's a time for us to reconnect with each other.  It's a pause button on the craziness that is our busy schedule.  I don't like the outside interruptions that technology use seems to bring.  That is why when I host a "Technology Dinner" my family really sits up and takes notice.  It is certainly something different from the norm.

Host a technology dinner




You may be wondering what a "Technology Dinner" is? 

It's really simple.  I allow all of the forbidden electronic devices at my table.  No, I have not given up on my rules.  This is a specially designated dinner where our dinner conversation revolves around things we find online.  A lot of times, the things I find are articles about food or parenting.  My daughter loves to share cute puppies and babies.  My teenager finds the most awesome comedy on YouTube.  We spend the dinner laughing together and it gives our family new "inside jokes".  Sometimes we share our favorite music.  We are working on creating a "family playlist."  This is a playlist of songs that we all contribute to.  The playlist is especially nice to have for long car rides.  When my little guy picks something it is usually video game related.  He sure does love Skylanders.  

Another benefit that I have found to these Technology Dinners is that my kids share apps and websites that I may not be familiar with.  I'll be honest...........parenting in this age of technology is terrifying!  I spend a lot of time on the internet and the kids still find things that I have never heard of.  Technology Dinners help me to keep up with what my kids are doing.  

Do you allow phones and computers at your dinner table?  Do you find any additional benefits to hosting Technology Dinners?  What scares you the most about parenting tech kids?

If you are looking for help in making the transition to eating more real food, you should check out the Real Food Experience posts. You can get started at the beginning or jump around the challenges. You can find a complete round-up of the program here. Each week's challenge is full of terrific advice to help you transition from fast and processed food to a real food diet. Changes that will help you to live a healthy lifestyle and have the energy to keep up with your busy schedule. I would also love for you to join me on social media. You can find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram on a regular basis. Leave me a comment and let me know you are there. I love to visit with my readers. Yes, I'm a real person.
  
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