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Friday, July 3, 2015

Inside Out Upside Down Pineapple Cupcakes

These Inside Out Upside Down Pineapple Cupcakes have been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #InsideOutEmotions #CollectiveBias

After first watching the preview to Disney's new movie, Inside Out, I was instantly hooked! Such a fun and cute movie about something so real - emotions. After seeing the movie I was totally inspired to make these Inside Out Upside Down Pineapple Cupcakes. Oh, I totally remember being a kid and sometimes just not feeling like myself {feeling inside out + upside down!}, but having no explanation for it. It's hard being young and trying to understand why you feel the way you do - but simply not having the knowledge or experience to figure it out. It's those memories of mine that have made it the utmost importance to me that I be in tune with my kiddo's emotions. Not only is it essential for me to teach them to identify their emotions, but also be able to cope and learn from them. One of my favorite ways to connect with my kiddos is in the kitchen, whipping up something delicious while spending special one-on-one time with each other. It's a no-holds-barred time for us, we can be candid with each other - so I like to use this time to discuss how the kids may be feeling about things going on in life. To make our most recent baking adventure Inside Out-themed, I picked up these absolutely adorable Inside Out plush toys from Walmart and brought them into the kitchen for a little baking action!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Cedar Plank BBQ Western Bacon Meatloaf

This Cedar Plank BBQ Western Bacon Meatloaf has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KingsfordFlavor #CollectiveBias

Every year we have a 4th of July party to celebrate Independence Day with fun, food and fireworks. This year we have a new addition to our get-together - a charcoal grill! Although we've had a gas grill for years {and it works great}, I'm ok with leaving it to the side this holiday weekend. There is just something special about starting up the charcoals in a chimney starter, smelling the smoke in the air and tasting the flavor in our food that only charcoal-cooking can create. Of course I have to show off our new charcoal grill to friends and family on the 4th of July, so I created this Cedar Plank BBQ Western Bacon Meatloaf. This recipe is sure to wow a crowd and I can't wait to serve it at our party! It's a 2lb meatloaf loaded with tangy bbq sauce, crispy bacon, fried onions and sharp cheddar cheese - cooked on a cedar plank over fiery hot charcoal briquets. It can be sliced and easily served to a crowd, making it a perfect addition to our potluck-style celebration. {and the perfect opportunity to cook with charcoal on my new grill!}

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

50 U.S.A. Regional Foods to Enjoy on Your Next Road Trip #FuelTheLove

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FueltheLove #CollectiveBias

It's summertime and the season for packing up the van, filling up the gas tank and hitting the road! No matter where my family is traveling, we always make a point to stop at local food stops along the route of our trip. Whether it be a produce stand, a food truck or a food cart - we will pull over for a taste, even if it means driving hundreds of miles out of the way. {true story...} Living in California gives us many options in the way of food, so we take advantage of all the state has to offer and make a lot of stops along our home-state road trips. A lot. From authentic Mexican cuisine, seafood and wines to famous fast-food restaurants, fusion cuisine and an abundance of fresh produce - California has a lot of foodie options while on a road trip. I've always wondered what foods were specific to other states in the USA, so I did a little research and put together this basic list of 50 U.S.A. Regional Foods to Enjoy on Your Next Road Trip. It was so much to find out about all the foods offered across the nation that I am totally inspired to start traveling and checking items off this list ASAP!

#AD DIY Superhero Serving Tray + a Fantastic Four Friday Night

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TysonAndAMovie #CollectiveBias

I love, love, love movie-night at home with the family! It's relaxing, inexpensive, entertaining and I get to snuggle with my kiddos. And it doesn't hurt that my kids inherited my fabulous taste of movies - so lots of action and superheroes! With the reboot of Fantastic Four being released this upcoming August I decided to throw a Fantastic Four Friday Movie Night for our family, where we could watch the Fantastic Four films that were released in the mid 2000s and get excited for the upcoming film release. All I had to do was mention a Marvel superhero movie for the whole family to get amped! To add a special touch to our at-home movie night I created a DIY Superhero Serving Tray to serve our mandatory movie-time finger foods on.{because our movie-nights ALWAYS include fantastic finger foods!}

Let's get started with this DIY Superhero Serving Tray - I am so excited to be sharing it with you! First, find a comic book that you don't mind destroying. I know this is blasphemy and that it may be emotional for all my superhero fans out there to cut-apart a perfectly good comic book/graphic novel - but just remember that it is going to be used for a serving tray that can be used everyday. Every. Day.