BLT Wraps with Homemade Guacamole

BLT wraps with easy homemade guacamole recipe. Bacon, lettuce and tomato wraps are a delicious idea for lunch or a quick dinner.

BLT wrap with easy homemade guacamole recipe. Bacon, lettuce and tomato wraps are a delicious idea for lunch or a quick dinner.

Easy BLT Wraps with Homemade Guacamole

These tasty BLT wraps are perfect for a busy weeknight dinner or quick lunch.  Enjoy this easy homemade guacamole recipe and bacon, lettuce and tomato wrap recipe.

Dinner doesn’t have to be super fancy and wraps are always a favorite in my family. I’m happy to have Divian Connor, our amazing contributor, back with another quick and easy recipe idea!

We have had numerous wraps for lunch lately, as I am always stocked with flour tortillas. Seriously, you can make any sandwich combination and use a tortilla. I was hankering for a BLT sandwich, but my kids had used the last of the loaf of bread the day before on peanut butter sandwiches… but hey, I had flour tortillas, avocados and lemons. I decided to give it a go and really, this BLT wrap was so yummy! And bonus, my kids loved it.

Originally published July 23, 2013

BLT wraps with easy homemade guacamole recipe.

More recipes with Avocado you might like:

 

Quick and Easy Homemade Guacamole

I have a new-found love of avocado and each time I head to the grocery store, I am buying four or five at a time. I love the creaminess of avocados. They are just so refreshing!

BLT wraps with easy homemade guacamole recipe. Bacon, lettuce and tomato wraps.

For the easy chunky homemade guacamole, I used one avocado, the juice from one lemon, two tablespoons of sour cream and a little salt and pepper to taste.

Using a spoon, mash and mix everything together. I like mine chunky, and really, the avocado is so creamy, the chunks melt in your mouth.

How to make BLT Wraps

For the wrap, cook a few slices of bacon and cut into chunks or crumble. Slice fresh tomato and cut up a bit of lettuce. I love lettuce with color and texture, so I purchased a small package called Artisan Lettuce I got at the grocery.

BLT wraps with easy homemade guacamole recipe. Bacon, lettuce and tomato wraps are a delicious idea for lunch or dinner.

 

Simply layer your guacamole on your flour tortilla, then add lettuce, tomato and bacon pieces. Wrap by taking one side of the wrap and tucking it under the ingredients and roll.

BLT wraps with easy homemade guacamole recipe.

Super easy, but so simple and so good. My kids ate their entire wrap!

BLT wraps with easy homemade guacamole recipe. Bacon, lettuce and tomato wraps are a delicious idea for lunch or a quick dinner. #bacon #recipe #blt

BLT Wraps with Homemade Guacamole Recipe

BLT wrap with easy homemade guacamole recipe. Bacon, lettuce and tomato wraps are a delicious idea for lunch or a quick dinner.

  • 4 slices bacon, crumbled
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 cup lettuce
  • 4 flour tortillas

Homemade Guacamole

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper

Guacamole

  1. Use a spoon to scoop out the avocado into a medium bowl. Then add the juice from a lemon, sour cream, salt and pepper. Mash and mix with a fork, set aside.

  2. Cook a few slices of bacon and cut into chunks or crumble.
  3. Slice a fresh tomato and cut up a bit of lettuce.

  4. Layer the guacamole on your flour tortilla, then add lettuce, tomato and bacon pieces.
  5. Wrap by taking one side of the wrap and tucking it under the ingredients and roll.

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The post BLT Wraps with Homemade Guacamole appeared first on Living Locurto.

Aperol Spritz Recipe

An Aperol Spritz is a refreshing low calorie sparkling Italian cocktail perfect for any occasion! A delicious combination of sweet Prosecco with bitter citrus flavors garnished with orange slices.

Aperol Spritz recipe is an easy skinny low calorie cocktail drink! A refreshing sparkling Italian orange soda cocktail.

Try a Refreshing Aperol Spritz Cocktail

An Aperol Spritz is a simple to make skinny drink that is all the rage in Europe this summer! Watch for it to be popular in America soon. I think we’re all going to really like this low calorie adult version of orange soda!

I made several glasses of this Aperol Spritz recipe to try and it’s such a great summer cocktail! My husband who is not usually a drinker, had two of them after my photos were taken! With a very small amount of alcohol or calories, an Aperol Spritz is a great cocktail to make for a party or to sip at the pool. I’m adding it to my list of favorite low calorie cocktails for sure!

Aperol Spritz recipe is an easy skinny low calorie cocktail drink! A refreshing low calorie sparkling Italian cocktail perfect for any occasion! A delicious combination of sweet prosecco with bitter citrus flavors garnished with orange slices. #cocktails #drinks

What is Aperol?

What is Aperol you ask? Well, I had a hard time finding it because it’s so popular right now, but there was ONE bottle left in my local liquor store. I was excited to whip up some of these simple skinny cocktails for you!

Aperol is made in Northern Italy with only 11 percent alcohol. It’s a deep orange color and tastes slightly bitter with a hint of sweet. It tastes like a mix of oranges and grapefruit. I read where it also contains rhubarb. Adding it with Prosecco and a splash of sparkling water makes this refreshing very trendy Aperol Spritz!

Aperol Spritz recipe is an easy skinny low calorie cocktail drink! A refreshing sparkling Italian cocktail with a delicious combination of sweet prosecco, bitter citrus flavors garnished with oranges.

The Aperol Spritz Trend!

Living Locurto team member, Naomi, is currently traveling around Europe with her family and keeps sending me photos of her Aperol Spritz drinks! She obviously really likes them. ha! She says they are everywhere she goes. Her photos are making me want to go back to Europe soon!

Aperol Spritz recipe is an easy skinny low calorie cocktail drink! A refreshing sparkling Italian cocktail.

Aperol Spritz recipe is an easy skinny low calorie cocktail drink! A refreshing sparkling Italian cocktail with a delicious combination of sweet prosecco, bitter citrus flavors garnished with oranges.

Get ready for the Aperol Spritz to sweep the United States next! So go out and get some Aperol and try this low calorie drink. Then when the trend hits us here in America you will be able to say… “Oh, I already know about this and have been making them at home for a while.” Ha!

Aperol Spritz recipe is an easy skinny low calorie cocktail drink! A refreshing sparkling Italian orange soda cocktail.

How to Make an Aperol Spritz

This is the basic recipe for an Aperol Spritz. If you like sweet drinks, I’m warning you that it’s very bitter. Feel free to add a splash of simple syrup or sugar.

I wanted to keep mine low calorie, so just squeezed several orange slices into my glass to make it less bitter. I don’t like sparkling water, but with extra fruit, I enjoyed my Aperol Spritz very much! It’s very refreshing!

Aperol Spritz recipe. A refreshing sparkling Italian orange soda cocktail.

Share Your Photos

I hope you enjoy this skinny cocktail! If you make one, share photos of your Aperol Spritz drinks on my Facebook page or tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #LivingLocurto.

Easy Aperol Spritz cocktail recipe. A refreshing sparkling Italian orange soda cocktail.

Aperol Spritz Recipe

An Aperol Spritz is a refreshing low calorie sparkling Italian cocktail perfect for any occasion! A delicious combination of sweet Prosecco with bitter citrus flavors garnished with orange slices. Easy skinny low calorie cocktail drink.

  • 4 oz Prosecco
  • 2 oz Aperol
  • 1 oz Sparkling Mineral Water (or Club Soda)
  • 2 slices of orange
  • Ice
  1. Pour Prosecco, Aperol and Sparkling Mineral Water into a wine glass.

  2. Gently stir, fill glass with ice and several slices of oranges. 

  3. Squeeze the juice from a few orange slices for a less bitter drink.


Did you make this recipe? Let me know by leaving a comment and rating the recipe below.


Get featured! Just take a picture and share on our Facebook Page for a chance to be bragged about in my newsletter! You can also follow Amy on Instagram and tag #LivingLocurto in your photo description.

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Lavender Hard Lemonade Cocktail

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The post Aperol Spritz Recipe appeared first on Living Locurto.

Homemade Rolo Chocolate Ice Cream

Easy Homemade Rolo Ice Cream with Free Printable Cone Wrappers. An easy and delicious chocolate ice cream recipe perfect for a summer party!

Rolo Ice Cream is delicious. Easy homemade recipe for Rolo Chocolate Ice cream is the perfect summer dessert.

How to Make Rolo Ice Cream!

Have you ever had Rolo Ice Cream? Well, I LOVE homemade chocolate ice cream, and any chance I can get to put Rolo chocolate and caramel candy into something… I’ll do it! Summer is the perfect time to make your own ice cream. It sure brings back childhood memories for me. What about you?

When I got our new ice cream maker, I tried various chocolate recipes and adding Rolos has become one of the family’s favorite ice cream flavors. I hope you enjoy this easy homemade Rolo Chocolate Ice Cream recipe and free printable ice cream wrappers!

Easy Homemade Rolo Chocolate Ice Cream with Free Printable Ice Cream Cone Wrappers. Such a tasty chocolate ice cream recipe for a summer party!


Homemade Rolo Ice Cream Recipe

Homemade Chocolate Rolo Ice Cream. LivingLocurto.com

You’ll need:

  • 20 small Rolos
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Mix the cocoa powder and sugars together in a bowl. Stir with a whisk to remove lumps. Stir in the cream, milk and vanilla.
  2. Place half of the Rolo candy in a microwave dish and melt for 30-60 seconds. Stir until smooth. Let this cool for about 4-5 minutes before stirring it into the ice cream mixture. Chop the rest of the Rolos to save for later.
  3. You can cover the ice cream mixture and refrigerate until ready to churn.
  4. Churn your mixture in an ice cream maker for 20-25 minutes. When the ice cream is frozen enough, spoon into a container, then sprinkle the top with chopped Rolos.

 

Homemade Rolo Chocolate Ice Cream

Easy Homemade Rolo Chocolate Ice Cream. Such a tasty chocolate ice cream recipe for a summer party!

  • 20 small Rolos chocolate candies
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Mix the cocoa powder and sugars together in a bowl. Stir with a whisk to remove lumps.
  2. Stir in the cream, milk and vanilla.
  3. Place half of the Rolo candy in a microwave dish and melt for 30-60 seconds. Stir until smooth. Let this cool for about 4-5 minutes before stirring it into the ice cream mixture. Chop the rest of the Rolos to save for later.
  4. You can cover the ice cream mixture and refrigerate until ready to churn.
  5. Churn your mixture in an ice cream maker for 20-25 minutes.
  6. When the ice cream is frozen enough, spoon into a container, then sprinkle the top with chopped Rolos.

Download the Free Printable Ice Cream Cone Wrappers

Free Printable Ice Cream Cone Wrappers

Download these cute Free Printable Cone Wrappers for your ice cream!  (As seen in Parents Magazine)

Chevron Pattern (yellow and blue)

Polka Dot Pattern (pink & green)

 

Check out my cute Ice Cream Party designs.

I love these Printable Party collections!

Pink & Teal Ice Cream Party Collection. Cute Printables by Amy Locurto! PrintablesByAmy.com

Red & Teal Ice Cream Party Collection. Cute Printables by Amy Locurto! PrintablesByAmy.com

 

The post Homemade Rolo Chocolate Ice Cream appeared first on Living Locurto.

Grilled Salmon Burger

Do you love salmon? Well, this is the best grilled salmon burger recipe! Fire up the grill for these fresh salmon patties. Crispy and crunchy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. These juicy salmon burgers are a quick and easy healthy dinner idea!

This is the best grilled salmon burger recipe! Fire up the grill for these fresh salmon patties. Crispy and crunchy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. These salmon burgers are a quick and easy healthy dinner idea!

Best Grilled Salmon Burger Recipe!

Salmon burgers are a super fast, go-to meal for my family. Not only is this a delicious salmon recipe, but a healthy alternative to the usual burgers. If you aren’t a fan of fish, but want to learn to like it… this recipe is for you! My son won’t try anything new and even he loves these juicy salmon burgers. I tricked him when he was little by calling them Sponge Bob’s WORLD FAMOUS Krabby Patties. Worked like a charm! ha!

When you are ready to fire up your grill this summer, I hope you’ll try these amazing salmon burgers! No grill? No problem! I have directions for both the grill and the stove top. Both are super easy and either way you cook them is awesome!

The best grilled salmon burger recipe! A quick and easy healthy dinner idea.

I usually make these salmon patties and serve with mashed potatoes. It’s a comfort food that reminds me of my childhood. Oh how I loved salmon pattie night! But, adding them to a hamburger bun was the way I got my kids to try something new years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since!

Low Carb Salmon Patties

If you’re watching your carbs, these salmon patties are amazing on top of a salad. This recipe doesn’t call for capers, but if you like capers as much as I do, I suggest adding some to your salad. You won’t be sorry.

The best grilled salmon burger recipe! A quick and easy healthy dinner idea. Crispy salmon patties perfect for burgers.

Fresh or canned salmon?

Fresh cooked salmon certainly is delicious and will work, but it will take up more time. I use this wild Alaska canned salmon or salmon pouches. I really like salmon pouches because they come boneless and very easy to rip open with less mess. Bonus, you can keep them handy in your pantry ready to go for this meal anytime of the week!

Recipe for the BEST Salmon Burger

I hope you enjoy one of my favorite family recipes! Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. If you make my salmon burgers, be sure to share a photo on my Facebook page or use the hashtag #LivingLocurto on Instagram.

 

Best Grilled Salmon Burger

This is the best grilled salmon burger recipe! Fire up the grill for these delicious salmon patties. Crispy and crunchy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. These salmon burgers are a quick and easy healthy dinner idea!

  • 6 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread (use 3/4 cup bread crumbs if you don’t have a food processor)
  • 16-20 ounces cooked salmon (4 pouches of 5 oz boneless salmon)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • hamburger buns
  • lemon wedges
  1. Remove crusts from the bread, break into pieces and process in a food processor until you get a fine bread crumb. (use 3/4-1 cup of Panko bread crumbs as an alternative)

  2. In a large bowl, mix the salmon and eggs together.
  3. Add chopped scallions, cilantro, pepper, and the bread crumbs to the mix.
  4. Shape into burger patties.

For cooking on the grill:

  1. Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
  2. Spray a large piece of heavy foil with grilling spray, place over grill grates.
  3. Brush each side of salmon patties with olive oil.
  4. Add salmon patties to foil and cook for 5 minutes on each side.
  5. While the salmon cooks, spray buns with grilling spray and toast on the grill.

For cooking on a stove top:

  1. In a pan, heat half of olive oil over a medium heat.
  2. Add patties and cook a few of the patties for 5 minutes on each side. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan, and cook the rest of the salmon patties.

Serve on a hamburger bun with lemon wedges and your choice of toppings.

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    Sheet pan lemon basil salmon foil bake! 

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    Sheet Pan Sambal Chili Lime Salmon and Brussels Sprouts

    Sheet Pan Sambal Chili Lime Salmon with Brussels Sprouts. Get ready for the best 10 minute Sheet Pan Salmon dinner recipe ever! Sambal chili lime salmon with Brussels sprouts, broccoli and bell peppers is a quick and easy low carb dinner packed with spicy flavor.

    More fast and delicious dinner recipes:

     

    The post Grilled Salmon Burger appeared first on Living Locurto.

    Read This Before You Make Your Summer Bucket List

    I love a good list. LOVE. THEM. A few years ago, I covered our kitchen chalkboard in this epic Summer Bucket List.

    That was two years ago and it was perfect for the sort of summer I wanted for my kids. They were the perfect age to go DO ALL THE THINGS! No more diaper bags. Everyone could make it through the day without a nap. I had just left a job where I had been working full-time, outside of my house and I felt like I was missing out.

    It was time to pack in the fun!

     

    And we did. It was so great and I’m so glad we did it.

    But as my kids have gotten just a bit older, I’m ready to shift gears a little bit.

    To shift from “Entertainment Director” to “Life Coach.”

    It sounds so boring, right?

    As if I’ll be asking my kids to spend the summer grinding their own wheat and beating their clothes on rocks to clean them.

    Here me out.

    For the last few years, the “Summer Bucket List” or “Holiday Fun List” has been a study in my ability to conduct expert Google searches for entertainment and activities and “must see” events.

    But I’ve noticed that we’re tip-toeing into a world where my kids arise from bed every morning wondering what wonderful thing we’ve prepared for them today. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of wonderful things. BIG. FAN. (Just went to Disneyland, so I’m not trying to pretend I’m not all about the magic.) But I’m also a big believer in boredom as a creativity booster.

    Also; there are no Entertainment Directors when you’re a grown up. Life is not always a non-stop party and I want my kids to learn these critical skills:

    1. Connecting with people.
    2. Finding the joy in everyday things.

     

    I decided to rethink our Summer Bucket List.

    Instead of “what should we do?” I asked “what do I want to get out of this summer?”

    • Quality time and connection.
    • Practice skills for a happy life.
    • Practice being a big kid.

    This shift means that instead of a long list of ticketed activities, I’ve got a summer bucket list that looks something like this:

    Teach the kids “slow fun.”

    Screen-free old school fun; puzzles, board games, cards, reading in the shade. If you don’t bust out the board games, how are your kids going to learn the art of trash-talking, or how darn smart their Grandpa is, or how sneaky their Grandma can be. My kids come from a long-line of card players—they need to be properly trained. Those are the moments that connect you to your family and reinforce how to have fun, without a screen.

    Spend time with our extended family.

    Sunday BBQ’s, cook with Grandma, camping and visits with our extended family. Traditions are built one Sunday, and one summer at a time. More people knowing, loving, and enriching the lives of my kids is a good thing.

    Connection to the neighborhood.

    Knock on doors, use up all the sidewalk chalk, share our popsicles. Those are the things that really belong on a summer bucket list. I’m not setting up “playdates” or texting to make arrangements to play. They need to figure this stuff out.

    Appreciation and exposure to the outdoors.

    Hike, go to the lake, hit the bike trail, post-dinner walks to the park, dinner picnics in the mountains. We are lucky to live 25 minutes away from straight-up wilderness, we should be taking advantage of it more.

    Room to be creative with their time!

    Protect downtime and provide open access to craft supplies and the blanket fort box. “Boredom” breeds some of the most entertaining creative play I’ve ever had the privilege to eavesdrop on. 

    Learn a few routines and responsibilities.

    Standard chores, help with big projects, work for hire. I’ve not been consistent with chores and now sometimes my kids simply walk away from their dinner plate and, OH HECK NO, that’s not going to work for me. Or for them in the long term.

    Skills for a happy life.

    Cooking nutritious meals, eating outside, watching sunsets, sitting on the porch and enjoying a bowl of ice cream after dinner. Yes, I realize most of those revolve around food. But food is an absolutely GLORIOUS part of life and I want my kids to be able to cook delicious food for themselves one day.

    To try new things and challenge ourselves.

    Try the climbing gym. Try a slack line. Train for the next Taekwondo tournament. My kids are well out of that window where everything is new and hard and takes so much work to master—remember when we were pumped when our kids learned to walk? I want them to have a chance to be a beginner again. Brave is a muscle. You have to use it to keep it.

    Do FUN Things with our tribe.

    Meet our friends at the food truck park. Take a small army of moms and kids to the lake. Driveway fireworks party with the neighbors. Family is wonderful, but the family you pick? Those people are magic.

    Serve others.

    Think of ways to help, surprise, and dish up joy to the friends, family, and even strangers in our lives. Learn how good it feels to do something because you know that someone is going to feel special because of your efforts.

    So, maybe this isn’t the big dazzling summer bucket list you were hoping for when you clicked on this post, but I’m looking forward to a summer of spending less; less money, less time on screens, and less time hustling.

    And getting more;

    More quality time together.
    More feeling like I’m helping raise my kids into wonderful adults.
    More memories with the people we love.

    There is such a huge benefit for kids when families can focus their energy and finances on experiences over things. (Kalli wrote a fantastic post about this around Christmas time. Go read it.)

    Other posts you might enjoy…

    Planning a Family Vacation? When Should You Begin?

    10 Tips for a Stress-Free Family Road Trip

    On the Ugly Business of Comparison: A Letter to Us Moms

    The post Read This Before You Make Your Summer Bucket List appeared first on TodaysMama.

    Read This Before You Make Your Summer Bucket List

    I love a good list. LOVE. THEM. A few years ago, I covered our kitchen chalkboard in this epic Summer Bucket List.

    That was two years ago and it was perfect for the sort of summer I wanted for my kids. They were the perfect age to go DO ALL THE THINGS! No more diaper bags. Everyone could make it through the day without a nap. I had just left a job where I had been working full-time, outside of my house and I felt like I was missing out.

    It was time to pack in the fun!

     

    And we did. It was so great and I’m so glad we did it.

    But as my kids have gotten just a bit older, I’m ready to shift gears a little bit.

    To shift from “Entertainment Director” to “Life Coach.”

    It sounds so boring, right?

    As if I’ll be asking my kids to spend the summer grinding their own wheat and beating their clothes on rocks to clean them.

    Here me out.

    For the last few years, the “Summer Bucket List” or “Holiday Fun List” has been a study in my ability to conduct expert Google searches for entertainment and activities and “must see” events.

    But I’ve noticed that we’re tip-toeing into a world where my kids arise from bed every morning wondering what wonderful thing we’ve prepared for them today. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of wonderful things. BIG. FAN. (Just went to Disneyland, so I’m not trying to pretend I’m not all about the magic.) But I’m also a big believer in boredom as a creativity booster.

    Also; there are no Entertainment Directors when you’re a grown up. Life is not always a non-stop party and I want my kids to learn these critical skills:

    1. Connecting with people.
    2. Finding the joy in everyday things.

     

    I decided to rethink our Summer Bucket List.

    Instead of “what should we do?” I asked “what do I want to get out of this summer?”

    • Quality time and connection.
    • Practice skills for a happy life.
    • Practice being a big kid.

    This shift means that instead of a long list of ticketed activities, I’ve got a summer bucket list that looks something like this:

    Teach the kids “slow fun.”

    Screen-free old school fun; puzzles, board games, cards, reading in the shade. If you don’t bust out the board games, how are your kids going to learn the art of trash-talking, or how darn smart their Grandpa is, or how sneaky their Grandma can be. My kids come from a long-line of card players—they need to be properly trained. Those are the moments that connect you to your family and reinforce how to have fun, without a screen.

    Spend time with our extended family.

    Sunday BBQ’s, cook with Grandma, camping and visits with our extended family. Traditions are built one Sunday, and one summer at a time. More people knowing, loving, and enriching the lives of my kids is a good thing.

    Connection to the neighborhood.

    Knock on doors, use up all the sidewalk chalk, share our popsicles. Those are the things that really belong on a summer bucket list. I’m not setting up “playdates” or texting to make arrangements to play. They need to figure this stuff out.

    Appreciation and exposure to the outdoors.

    Hike, go to the lake, hit the bike trail, post-dinner walks to the park, dinner picnics in the mountains. We are lucky to live 25 minutes away from straight-up wilderness, we should be taking advantage of it more.

    Room to be creative with their time!

    Protect downtime and provide open access to craft supplies and the blanket fort box. “Boredom” breeds some of the most entertaining creative play I’ve ever had the privilege to eavesdrop on. 

    Learn a few routines and responsibilities.

    Standard chores, help with big projects, work for hire. I’ve not been consistent with chores and now sometimes my kids simply walk away from their dinner plate and, OH HECK NO, that’s not going to work for me. Or for them in the long term.

    Skills for a happy life.

    Cooking nutritious meals, eating outside, watching sunsets, sitting on the porch and enjoying a bowl of ice cream after dinner. Yes, I realize most of those revolve around food. But food is an absolutely GLORIOUS part of life and I want my kids to be able to cook delicious food for themselves one day.

    To try new things and challenge ourselves.

    Try the climbing gym. Try a slack line. Train for the next Taekwondo tournament. My kids are well out of that window where everything is new and hard and takes so much work to master—remember when we were pumped when our kids learned to walk? I want them to have a chance to be a beginner again. Brave is a muscle. You have to use it to keep it.

    Do FUN Things with our tribe.

    Meet our friends at the food truck park. Take a small army of moms and kids to the lake. Driveway fireworks party with the neighbors. Family is wonderful, but the family you pick? Those people are magic.

    Serve others.

    Think of ways to help, surprise, and dish up joy to the friends, family, and even strangers in our lives. Learn how good it feels to do something because you know that someone is going to feel special because of your efforts.

    So, maybe this isn’t the big dazzling summer bucket list you were hoping for when you clicked on this post, but I’m looking forward to a summer of spending less; less money, less time on screens, and less time hustling.

    And getting more;

    More quality time together.
    More feeling like I’m helping raise my kids into wonderful adults.
    More memories with the people we love.

    There is such a huge benefit for kids when families can focus their energy and finances on experiences over things. (Kalli wrote a fantastic post about this around Christmas time. Go read it.)

    Other posts you might enjoy…

    Planning a Family Vacation? When Should You Begin?

    10 Tips for a Stress-Free Family Road Trip

    On the Ugly Business of Comparison: A Letter to Us Moms

    The post Read This Before You Make Your Summer Bucket List appeared first on TodaysMama.

    Read This Before You Make Your Summer Bucket List

    I love a good list. LOVE. THEM. A few years ago, I covered our kitchen chalkboard in this epic Summer Bucket List.

    That was two years ago and it was perfect for the sort of summer I wanted for my kids. They were the perfect age to go DO ALL THE THINGS! No more diaper bags. Everyone could make it through the day without a nap. I had just left a job where I had been working full-time, outside of my house and I felt like I was missing out.

    It was time to pack in the fun!

     

    And we did. It was so great and I’m so glad we did it.

    But as my kids have gotten just a bit older, I’m ready to shift gears a little bit.

    To shift from “Entertainment Director” to “Life Coach.”

    It sounds so boring, right?

    As if I’ll be asking my kids to spend the summer grinding their own wheat and beating their clothes on rocks to clean them.

    Here me out.

    For the last few years, the “Summer Bucket List” or “Holiday Fun List” has been a study in my ability to conduct expert Google searches for entertainment and activities and “must see” events.

    But I’ve noticed that we’re tip-toeing into a world where my kids arise from bed every morning wondering what wonderful thing we’ve prepared for them today. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of wonderful things. BIG. FAN. (Just went to Disneyland, so I’m not trying to pretend I’m not all about the magic.) But I’m also a big believer in boredom as a creativity booster.

    Also; there are no Entertainment Directors when you’re a grown up. Life is not always a non-stop party and I want my kids to learn these critical skills:

    1. Connecting with people.
    2. Finding the joy in everyday things.

     

    I decided to rethink our Summer Bucket List.

    Instead of “what should we do?” I asked “what do I want to get out of this summer?”

    • Quality time and connection.
    • Practice skills for a happy life.
    • Practice being a big kid.

    This shift means that instead of a long list of ticketed activities, I’ve got a summer bucket list that looks something like this:

    Teach the kids “slow fun.”

    Screen-free old school fun; puzzles, board games, cards, reading in the shade. If you don’t bust out the board games, how are your kids going to learn the art of trash-talking, or how darn smart their Grandpa is, or how sneaky their Grandma can be. My kids come from a long-line of card players—they need to be properly trained. Those are the moments that connect you to your family and reinforce how to have fun, without a screen.

    Spend time with our extended family.

    Sunday BBQ’s, cook with Grandma, camping and visits with our extended family. Traditions are built one Sunday, and one summer at a time. More people knowing, loving, and enriching the lives of my kids is a good thing.

    Connection to the neighborhood.

    Knock on doors, use up all the sidewalk chalk, share our popsicles. Those are the things that really belong on a summer bucket list. I’m not setting up “playdates” or texting to make arrangements to play. They need to figure this stuff out.

    Appreciation and exposure to the outdoors.

    Hike, go to the lake, hit the bike trail, post-dinner walks to the park, dinner picnics in the mountains. We are lucky to live 25 minutes away from straight-up wilderness, we should be taking advantage of it more.

    Room to be creative with their time!

    Protect downtime and provide open access to craft supplies and the blanket fort box. “Boredom” breeds some of the most entertaining creative play I’ve ever had the privilege to eavesdrop on. 

    Learn a few routines and responsibilities.

    Standard chores, help with big projects, work for hire. I’ve not been consistent with chores and now sometimes my kids simply walk away from their dinner plate and, OH HECK NO, that’s not going to work for me. Or for them in the long term.

    Skills for a happy life.

    Cooking nutritious meals, eating outside, watching sunsets, sitting on the porch and enjoying a bowl of ice cream after dinner. Yes, I realize most of those revolve around food. But food is an absolutely GLORIOUS part of life and I want my kids to be able to cook delicious food for themselves one day.

    To try new things and challenge ourselves.

    Try the climbing gym. Try a slack line. Train for the next Taekwondo tournament. My kids are well out of that window where everything is new and hard and takes so much work to master—remember when we were pumped when our kids learned to walk? I want them to have a chance to be a beginner again. Brave is a muscle. You have to use it to keep it.

    Do FUN Things with our tribe.

    Meet our friends at the food truck park. Take a small army of moms and kids to the lake. Driveway fireworks party with the neighbors. Family is wonderful, but the family you pick? Those people are magic.

    Serve others.

    Think of ways to help, surprise, and dish up joy to the friends, family, and even strangers in our lives. Learn how good it feels to do something because you know that someone is going to feel special because of your efforts.

    So, maybe this isn’t the big dazzling summer bucket list you were hoping for when you clicked on this post, but I’m looking forward to a summer of spending less; less money, less time on screens, and less time hustling.

    And getting more;

    More quality time together.
    More feeling like I’m helping raise my kids into wonderful adults.
    More memories with the people we love.

    There is such a huge benefit for kids when families can focus their energy and finances on experiences over things. (Kalli wrote a fantastic post about this around Christmas time. Go read it.)

    Other posts you might enjoy…

    Planning a Family Vacation? When Should You Begin?

    10 Tips for a Stress-Free Family Road Trip

    On the Ugly Business of Comparison: A Letter to Us Moms

    The post Read This Before You Make Your Summer Bucket List appeared first on TodaysMama.

    This Kind of Summer Travel is NOT Kid Friendly (and we’re good with that)

    For the last few weeks of school, all anyone can talk about is where your family is headed once that final bell rings. And, inevitably, you’ll answer with your plans to take the kids, uh, wherever the hell it is they’re dragging you this year. (How did they get put in charge of summer vacation anyhow?)

    But might I suggest a few types of travel this summer where you ditch the kids at Grandma’s and strike out with only other grownups? No packing more diaper bags than suitcases, no fighting tired toddlers in airports, no obnoxious teenagers taking more pics for Instagram than one could possibly post…

    Oh, you’re convinced? Okay, here we go:

    The Looooooove Boat

    Ryan Gosling Kiss GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

    It’s the all-important cruise to reconnect with your significant other. Like, reconnect reconnect. You know…reconnect. Yeah, you get it. Plus, you can talk about things other than kids and remember that you are in fact a worthwhile and semi-cool human being even when no one is hanging from your legs crying about a fruit rollup.

    The Girls Trip

    Parks And Rec Television GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

    That’s right, you DO have grown up friends still! And you know where you should take them? Disneyland. Now, personally, I’d rather die than stand in eternal lines with trillions of other people, swassing up a real slick storm—hard pass. But apparently there’s really something to hitting the most magical place on earth with your best GFs instead of your whiney kids. Check out the legit evidence here.

    The Couples Getaway

    Friends Tv Applause GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

    An oceanfront cottage in Maine? Maybe a little Airbnb outside Prague. You choose the destination—near or far, but grab your best couple friends and live it up like you’re back in college. Stay out late, be a little reckless—the kids will never have to know!

    Mama Goes Solo

    Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Happy Dance GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

    Whether you’re a weekend-at-the-spa kind of mama or a backpack-the-Pacific-Crest-Trail kind, the key is—fly solo. Take hours doing your hair and makeup just to read your book on the hotel balcony, sleep in til noon, go dancing til dawn. Whatever it is you WANT—do that thing. You deserve it, mama. And you deserve to do it without worrying about whether or not you deserve it. Because you do. I promise.

    See More on TodaysMama!

    Read This Before You Make Your Summer Bucket List

    10 Things That Made 90s Summers All That (And a Bag of Chips)

    Scientific Proof That a Beyoncé Concert Could Literally Change Your Life

    The post This Kind of Summer Travel is NOT Kid Friendly (and we’re good with that) appeared first on TodaysMama.

    This Kind of Summer Travel is NOT Kid Friendly (and we’re good with that)

    For the last few weeks of school, all anyone can talk about is where your family is headed once that final bell rings. And, inevitably, you’ll answer with your plans to take the kids, uh, wherever the hell it is they’re dragging you this year. (How did they get put in charge of summer vacation anyhow?)

    But might I suggest a few types of travel this summer where you ditch the kids at Grandma’s and strike out with only other grownups? No packing more diaper bags than suitcases, no fighting tired toddlers in airports, no obnoxious teenagers taking more pics for Instagram than one could possibly post…

    Oh, you’re convinced? Okay, here we go:

    The Looooooove Boat

    Ryan Gosling Kiss GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

    It’s the all-important cruise to reconnect with your significant other. Like, reconnect reconnect. You know…reconnect. Yeah, you get it. Plus, you can talk about things other than kids and remember that you are in fact a worthwhile and semi-cool human being even when no one is hanging from your legs crying about a fruit rollup.

    The Girls Trip

    Parks And Rec Television GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

    That’s right, you DO have grown up friends still! And you know where you should take them? Disneyland. Now, personally, I’d rather die than stand in eternal lines with trillions of other people, swassing up a real slick storm—hard pass. But apparently there’s really something to hitting the most magical place on earth with your best GFs instead of your whiney kids. Check out the legit evidence here.

    The Couples Getaway

    Friends Tv Applause GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

    An oceanfront cottage in Maine? Maybe a little Airbnb outside Prague. You choose the destination—near or far, but grab your best couple friends and live it up like you’re back in college. Stay out late, be a little reckless—the kids will never have to know!

    Mama Goes Solo

    Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Happy Dance GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

    Whether you’re a weekend-at-the-spa kind of mama or a backpack-the-Pacific-Crest-Trail kind, the key is—fly solo. Take hours doing your hair and makeup just to read your book on the hotel balcony, sleep in til noon, go dancing til dawn. Whatever it is you WANT—do that thing. You deserve it, mama. And you deserve to do it without worrying about whether or not you deserve it. Because you do. I promise.

    See More on TodaysMama!

    Read This Before You Make Your Summer Bucket List

    10 Things That Made 90s Summers All That (And a Bag of Chips)

    Scientific Proof That a Beyoncé Concert Could Literally Change Your Life

    The post This Kind of Summer Travel is NOT Kid Friendly (and we’re good with that) appeared first on TodaysMama.

    This Kind of Summer Travel is NOT Kid Friendly (and we’re good with that)

    For the last few weeks of school, all anyone can talk about is where your family is headed once that final bell rings. And, inevitably, you’ll answer with your plans to take the kids, uh, wherever the hell it is they’re dragging you this year. (How did they get put in charge of summer vacation anyhow?)

    But might I suggest a few types of travel this summer where you ditch the kids at Grandma’s and strike out with only other grownups? No packing more diaper bags than suitcases, no fighting tired toddlers in airports, no obnoxious teenagers taking more pics for Instagram than one could possibly post…

    Oh, you’re convinced? Okay, here we go:

    The Looooooove Boat

    Ryan Gosling Kiss GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

    It’s the all-important cruise to reconnect with your significant other. Like, reconnect reconnect. You know…reconnect. Yeah, you get it. Plus, you can talk about things other than kids and remember that you are in fact a worthwhile and semi-cool human being even when no one is hanging from your legs crying about a fruit rollup.

    The Girls Trip

    Parks And Rec Television GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

    That’s right, you DO have grown up friends still! And you know where you should take them? Disneyland. Now, personally, I’d rather die than stand in eternal lines with trillions of other people, swassing up a real slick storm—hard pass. But apparently there’s really something to hitting the most magical place on earth with your best GFs instead of your whiney kids. Check out the legit evidence here.

    The Couples Getaway

    Friends Tv Applause GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

    An oceanfront cottage in Maine? Maybe a little Airbnb outside Prague. You choose the destination—near or far, but grab your best couple friends and live it up like you’re back in college. Stay out late, be a little reckless—the kids will never have to know!

    Mama Goes Solo

    Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Happy Dance GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

    Whether you’re a weekend-at-the-spa kind of mama or a backpack-the-Pacific-Crest-Trail kind, the key is—fly solo. Take hours doing your hair and makeup just to read your book on the hotel balcony, sleep in til noon, go dancing til dawn. Whatever it is you WANT—do that thing. You deserve it, mama. And you deserve to do it without worrying about whether or not you deserve it. Because you do. I promise.

    See More on TodaysMama!

    Read This Before You Make Your Summer Bucket List

    10 Things That Made 90s Summers All That (And a Bag of Chips)

    Scientific Proof That a Beyoncé Concert Could Literally Change Your Life

    The post This Kind of Summer Travel is NOT Kid Friendly (and we’re good with that) appeared first on TodaysMama.