Save Family Time with These Incredible Instant Pot Family Dinners!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Disclosure: We received these Instant Family products for free, but made our own decision to write the blog post so that we could share our recipes.

Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus Perfect Pulled Pork

-3 lbs. boneless pork roast
-2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
-3 Teaspoons Paprika
-1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
-2 Teaspoons onion powder
-2 Teaspoons Italian Seasoning
-1 Teaspoon Cumin
-1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne (optional)
-2 Tablespoons Oil
-1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
-1 1/2 cups Chicken or Beef Broth
-3-5 cloves of Garlic
-1 onion cut in 5 large pieces

Halloween Creepy Zombie and Mummy Wraps Lunch

Sunday, October 6, 2019

How to Make a Halloween Zombie and Mummy Wraps Lunch

Halloween is coming, but I needed something quick and easy to make for my kids' lunches because this weekend has been craaaazzzzzyyyy! I was already making burritos for something else, so I decided to just go with some wraps. Ok they are creepy monsters in the shape of a wrap, but they won't bite you as you are biting them...maybe.

Vampires, Horses, and Churros: Things to do When You Visit Santa Cruz, California With Chase Freedom Unlimited

Friday, October 4, 2019

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Chase Freedom Unlimited. All opinions are my own.
Lunch idea for kids

My wife and I have been having so much fun fulfilling this year's goal of traveling with our whole family more, but sometimes you have to just get away as a couple for a day to spend time without kids. We love our kids, but we also love those rare moments when we can leave the children with their grandparents and head out of town for twenty-four hours. Recently, we were given one of those moments and took full advantage of it by grabbing our Chase Freedom Unlimited card and steering our car towards the beach, child-free meals, and a day long date!

Every summer, my family packs up and drives out west to spend time with our extended family and friends in Northern California. You can read about our trip in a previous blog post, but it is basically a whirlwind of quality time spent with loved ones. Usually our wedding anniversary also falls during this trip. So far, our family has been meeting our goal by traveling together, but on our most recent trip we had the opportunity to spend one night away from home as a couple...and it was glorious!

Lunch Ideas for Kids

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Dinosaur Tacos for Family Dinner Night!

This post has been sponsored by Old El Paso and General Mills. I received product and compensation but all opinions are my own.
Easy and fun slow cooker dinosaur tacos for National Taco Day or any family dinner night!

Whether it's National Taco Day, a Tuesday night, or pretty much any other day of the week, my family is ready to consumer as many tacos as possible! We thought we would shake things up a bit by "boldly" going prehistoric with our dinner. We found these Old El Paso Bold Bold Nacho Cheese Stand 'N Stuff Taco Shells on Amazon and my kids absolutely loved the cheesy flavor! Since we had the taco shells, I was inspired to build some dinosaur themed tacos using a Stegosaurus as my model. We also tried our hand at making slow cooker beef barbacoa, which is now our go-to taco filling. These free standing food art tacos are easy to create and so fun to build at home with your family!

Easy and fun slow cooker dinosaur tacos for taco tuesday or any family dinner night!

Your Children Can Learn to Cook at Home with the Young Chefs' Club from America's Test Kitchen Kids!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

This is a sponsored post in partnership with the Young Chefs' Club and America's Test Kitchen Kids. All opinions are my own.
Your Children Can Learn to Cook at Home with the Young Chefs' Club from America's Test Kitchen Kids!

Ever since my daughter was little she has wanted to be in the kitchen making stuff for others to eat. For awhile she even had a dream of having a YouTube channel showing people how to bake different dessert creations. Fast forward a few years and she has moved on from the YouTube idea, but not from cooking. In fact, her younger brothers love being in the kitchen as well. Whether it is with my wife, their grandma, or me, they almost always ask to help out. This is why I was so excited for them to try out the new Young Chefs' Club from America's Test Kitchen Kids!

The Young Chefs' Club is a monthly subscription box that comes in the mail, but it is designed specifically for kids to learn all about how to cook. But as we have experienced, it is really much more than that!

Each month kids aged five and up can receive a box filled with kid-tested and kid-approved recipes, super fun hands-on experiments, and other special surprises! No food comes with the box, but you get a detailed shopping list of everything you will need. In fact, this actually also comes through email before you receive the box in case you want to be prepared.

Your Children Can Learn to Cook at Home with the Young Chefs' Club from America's Test Kitchen Kids!

Disney Mickey Mouse Ears Halloween Food Art Lunch

Monday, September 30, 2019

Disneyland Halloween Party

It's that time of year again and we love to celebrate autumn and Halloween at our house. Better yet, we made this lunch for my boys to help give them a hint of the surprise that we revealed later in the evening...that we are going to Disneyland! Next month we are heading to the happiest place on earth for the Oogie Boogie Bash.

Of course I had to create a fun Disney lunch to celebrate and what better way to do that than with some Mickey Mouse ears sandwiches and a poison apple? I just had to throw some Jack Skellington Nightmare Before Christmas ears in there as well!

We finished the surprise by reading them a Disney story for bedtime. on the last page we included a note that told them to go to the door for a package. They ran to the door and grabbed a big box. Inside were Disney balloons and they had to guess what it all meant. They were shocked when we told them that their guess of going to Disneyland was correct. Not only that, but we are meeting some of our extended family there. We can't wait! In the meantime, keep reading for the ingredients to inspire you to make your own lunch.

How to Make a VSCO Girl TikTok lunch

Sunday, September 22, 2019

How to Make a VSCO Girl TikTok lunch

Do you have a VSCO Girl living at your house? There are a few sure ways to find out. Is your middle school or high school aged girl walking around constantly wearing oversized t-shirts or hoodies along with short-shorts and a puka shell necklace? Do you hear excited chatterings that sound like SKSKSK coming from their room? Are they always on TikTok and mutter exclamations like, "And I Oop!" Is it impossible for them to leave the house without a scrunchie and Hydro Flask water bottle while wearing Crocs, Vans, or Birkenstocks? Does your daughter have a sudden urge to save the turtles?

How to Make a VSCO Girl TikTok lunch

If these things are true of the girl living in your house, then you officially have a VSCO Girl in your family. Don't worry though, this trend seems to be fairly harmless, unless they try to talk you into buying them a Jeep and a Fjallraven's Kranken backpack! But let's be honest. We all had our teenage trend didn't we? Mine was Doc Martens, flannel, long hair, and Seattle grunge music.

Easy Air Fryer Shrimp and Fish Mini Burrito Bowls

Monday, September 16, 2019

This post has been sponsored by Old El Paso and General Mills. I received product and compensation but all opinions are my own.

Is your family always on the go like mine is? We sometimes struggle with quick and easy ideas to make a dinner each week for our busy family. During the school year we are always going from sports practices, to band events, to homework sessions, and dinners are usually the last to be planned. That's why I was happy to find these Old El Paso Soft Tortilla Mini Bowls to combine with our easy air fryer shrimp and fish bowls! Even though life can get hectic, bringing family together over a meal shouldn't be. Because of their size, these mini soft tortilla bowls fit perfectly in my kids' small hands and are easy for them to load up with their favorite fillings.


We are finally sharing our super easy air fryer shrimp and fish recipe because it pairs perfectly with these Old El Paso Soft Tortilla Mini Bowls. If you have used an air fryer, you know it helps to quickly make your favorite food, which means dinner is easier and faster for busy families! These shrimp and fish fillets can be sprinkled with Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix and a drizzle of olive oil, spread in the air fryer, then cook until the timer goes off. They take less than ten minutes to cook and it couldn't be simpler! Read below to find out the details and then head to my Amazon store to pick up your Old El Paso Soft Tortilla Mini Bowls!

How to Make a Hamilton Musical Food Art School Lunch

Sunday, September 15, 2019

How to Make a Hamilton Musical Food Art School Lunch

I'm just going to start by being honest here. I don't know much about Hamilton, the musical that has taken the world by storm. I'm not really into musicals and have only seen a handful of shows in the theatre. I am aware the the soundtrack is supposed to be great and it is based on historical events. With that being said I also know that my daughter is addicted, and I mean ADDICTED, to the music and the thought of going to see this show makes her giddy with delight. That is enough for me to make her a Hamilton food art lunch for school.

Easy Egg Bites Bird's Nest Breakfast

Thursday, September 12, 2019

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Valley Fine Foods. All opinions are my own.How to Make a Three Bridges Easy Egg Bites Bird's Nest Breakfast

Breakfast time in our house can be crazy! On the weekdays we are scrambling to pack backpacks and make sure that shoes match before the kids head to school. On weekends we are gathering cleats and knee pads and heading to sports. It's hard to find time to make a hot breakfast, much less a fun shaped food art one. Because of Three Bridges Egg Bites, we were able to change that! Keep reading to find out how you can make these Easy Egg Bites Bird's Nest Breakfast.

How to Make a Three Bridges Easy Egg Bites Bird's Nest Breakfast

LEGO Angry Unikitty Lunch Recipe

Monday, September 9, 2019

How to make a LEGO Unikitty School Lunch

If your kids are like mine, they are deep into LEGO and obsessed with The LEGO Movie...both parts one and two. It's because of their everlasting love of the building bricks that mine were begging me for another LEGO lunch. It's been awhile since I made the last one so I figured it was time, and I chose Unikitty. She is a unicorn-cat hybrid!

How to make a LEGO Unikitty School Lunch

How to Make a Bird Themed School Lunch Featuring Walnut Chicken Salad and Chocolate Bird's Nests

Monday, September 2, 2019

This is a sponsored post in partnership with California Walnuts. All opinions are my own.
How to Make a Bird Themed School Lunch featuring California Walnuts

"If only the best birds sang, the forest would be silent." - Henry Van Dyke

There's something so silly, inspiring, and fun about birds! Growing up we had chickens, but we also had a couple of parakeets. We ended up putting the parakeets in the chicken coop and you know what happened? They became best friends with the chickens and even started to act like them. That is until the parakeets found a way out and flew away together. Oh well. Bird shaped food is a fun addition to any lunchbox. This bird sandwich is filled with tasty chicken salad featuring toasted California Walnuts!

How to Make a Bird Themed School Lunch featuring California Walnuts

Super Mario School Lunch Recipe

Monday, August 26, 2019

Super Mario Bros School Lunch Recipe

My kids have really been into Super Mario lately. From playing Super Mario Bros. 3 on our NES Classic, to Mario Kart on our Nintendo Switch, to Super Mario Maker 2 on their DS, they have loved Mario for a long time and seemingly can't get enough of him!

Because of this, and school starting, it was time to make them another Super Mario lunch. One of my most popular blog posts is showing how to make a Nintendo themed birthday party, so I guess I'm not alone in our family's addiction to these video game characters. If your family is into Nintendo and Mario like mine, is keep reading to see how to make your own Mario Bros. themed lunch for your kids' lunchboxes!

Super Mario Bros School Lunch Recipe

Back-to-School Letters and Numbers Lunch

Friday, August 23, 2019

This is a sponsored post in partnership with California Walnuts. All opinions are my own.
Toasted California Walnuts

If you're a parent back-to-school time means back-to-lunch time. This means it's not only time to go shopping for school supplies, it's time to start thinking about meal prep! Did you know that 45% of Americans don't plan what they are going to eat for lunch at all? This is the year that you can change that and "Choose Lunch" with the whole family. What better way to start than with this letters and numbers school lunch complete with a pencil shaped California Walnuts chewy trail bar!

Toasted California Walnuts

A Candied Walnut Eating Squirrel School Lunch Recipe

Monday, August 19, 2019

This is a sponsored post in partnership with California Walnuts. All opinions are my own.
A Candied Walnut Eating Squirrel School Lunch Recipe featuring California Walnuts

Over 50 years ago, my wife's grandfather bought land in Northern California and over time built it up to be a working cattle ranch. My wife has enough memories there to fill up her own blog! My kids also grew up going there and one of their favorite memories at the ranch is gathering walnuts with their grandma and eating her famous walnut pie. Well, I might not be up for baking or serving walnut pie for school lunches, but I did the next best thing and created this candied squirrel school lunch with California Walnuts!

The thing that I love about walnuts is that when you are feeling drained in the middle of the day, a few of them in your lunch can really boost your energy (or your kid's energy) to help you finish your afternoon strong. This lunch can help with that. While I made my own candied walnuts as a nod to my mother-in-law's walnut pie, you can also substitute homemade toasted walnuts instead to use less sugar.

A Candied Walnut Eating Squirrel School Lunch Recipe featuring California Walnuts

How to Snack Healthier on a Family Road Trip

Thursday, August 15, 2019

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Chase Freedom Unlimited. All opinions are my own.
Chase Freedom Unlimited

My kids, wife, and I just finished an epic family road trip traveling from Oklahoma to northern California. We hit the road to visit family and friends. My wife and kids headed out before me and then I joined them a few weeks later. We drove all around the state that we used to call home, and then headed back across the country to the state we where we now live. We laughed and relaxed, enjoyed being around our loved ones, and put many miles on our minivan.

One of our goals for this year is to travel more together and make memories that we will talk about for many years to come. Thanks to Chase Freedom Unlimited, we are fulfilling our goal on a regular basis. Recently I have shared with you about how the cash back rewards are helping us to share experiences that we otherwise wouldn't be able to have. Here are a few of those memories we made!

Watermelon Pizza Recipe: Our Healthy New Summer Snack!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

This post is made in collaboration with Chase Freedom Unlimited. All opinions are my own.Chase Freedom Unlimited Card

If you're a parent, you know summertime is packed with hot weather, fun activities, and kids always asking for more snacks! This summer, our family goal has been taking trips making memories together, as well as coming up with new summer lunch ideas, so I thought it was time to try out an easy healthy snack recipe that my whole family would love. Seasonal fruit is a great place to start, so my first step was taking a trip to the grocery store to see what was available.

How to Make a Teddy Bear Back-to-School Lunch!

Monday, July 29, 2019

This is a sponsored post in partnership with ALDI. All opinions are my own.
ALDI school lunchboxes

It's just about time to go back to school which of course means it's also time to start making school lunches again. But don't fear, I always have your back and I want to help you start the school year off on a fun and healthy note. Today, with the help of ALDI, I'm going to show you how to make a teddy bear back-to-school lunch for your kids.

Every kid loves a teddy bear sandwich and this one comes with lots of love because of the sides of heart shaped strawberries, baby carrots, and hummus. If you want your children to eat more veggies, I always recommend including a dip. There are many flavors of hummus at ALDI so the trick is to find your kid's favorite before they take it to school for lunch. Then you won't have to worry about them coming back with it after the school day is done.

ALDI school lunchboxes

In fact, ALDI is one of our family's favorite stores because they have such great quality groceries, and lunchboxes, at fantastic prices. So it has never been easier to pack your kids healthy lunches for school. To make this recipe, first head to ALDI to check out their back-to-school essentials, then make my easy lunch recipe below! These amazing lunchboxes are available starting July 31st for a limited time only.

A Party For The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! Book by Mo Willems!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Disney Books. All opinions are my own.
A Party For The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! Book by Mo Willems!

My family are huge fans of The Pigeon Books series by Mo Willems, and you know that we love back-to-school time too. So when we found out that Mo Willems' new book, The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!, was coming out ahead of the new school year, we had to celebrate. We came up with ideas like The Pigeon cupcakes and The Pigeon lunch box notes. If you want some back-to-school ideas for your young family, then keep reading!

A Party For The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! Book by Mo Willems!

Stranger Things Eleven Sugar Sprinkle Art

Friday, July 5, 2019

Stranger Things Eleven Sugar Sprinkle Art

Who's your favorite Stranger Things character? I made this Stranger Things Eleven sugar sprinkle art because I've been a fan of the Netflix show ever since the beginning! As an 80's kid there are so many retro references that I love, but the story itself is amazing. Check out the video below!

A Horse Cookies Recipe to Celebrate Progress on Our Family Goal!

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Chase Freedom Unlimited. all opinions are my own.
Chase Freedom Unlimited Healthy Food

Last month I revealed how our family goal this year was to spend more time traveling together. Not only have we already started working towards that goal, but we are celebrating taking our first trip together! For my son's 9th birthday we headed off down the road to Dallas, Texas. I will talk more about that in a minute, but first I want to share about how we celebrated after the trip.

Chase Freedom Unlimited healthy Food

The birthday trip was amazing, so amazing in fact that we did something that we've never done before. We made some fun cookie art as a family to talk about how the trip went, and what our kids' favorite parts were. You see, part of what spurred this goal on was realizing how important it is to experience moments together. So, we thought, why JUST experience the moments, when we could take time to celebrate them as well? That is where the idea of the horse cookies came from. They will forever be linked with our trip to Dallas. If you want to make horse cookies with your family, keep reading to the end!

Popover Pancakes Recipe on the Grill

Friday, June 28, 2019

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Nellies Free Range eggs. All opinions are my own.
Popover Pancakes Recipe on the Grill

What? Pancakes on the grill? How in the world could that be possible? This Popover Pancakes recipe is not only one of my kids favorite meals, it's also easy to make on your BBQ when you don't want to heat up the house on those hot summer days! This is an old family recipe that I first experienced shortly after my wife and I got married. My mother-in-law gifted us a binder full of recipes that my wife grew up with, but we recently improved it when we found Nellie's Free Range eggs! Their rich flavor is about the only thing that could take these pancakes to the next level.

Popover Pancakes Recipe on the Grill

Easy and Fun Fruity Watermelon Snack Recipe

Sunday, June 23, 2019


My kids love fruit, especially during the summer. So I thought it would be fun to take their watermelon to the next level by stuffing it with other creatively shaped fruit! It's so easy to do because I just used star and heart shaped cutters to perfectly create each shape. The trick is to slice the watermelon, and all of the other fruit, close to the same depth. You can see exactly how I made this healthy fruit snack recipe by watching my video below!

4 Dad-Friendly Disney's The Lion King Recipes!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

I am an official ambassador for Dole. Dole provided me with compensation for my time. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.
4 Dad-Friendly The Lion King Recipes!

When you're a busy dad who is constantly on-the-go, there is nothing better than carving out a little time to be with your kids, watch a movie, and make a fun meal! Bonus points if you can make the meal movie-themed and sneak in some fresh fruit and vegetables. Hakuna Matata (it means no worries) dads, Disney's The Lion King, Dole, and I have your backs. I have loved all of the Disney and Dole combo recipes lately and I want to share some that I consider the "Kings" of the the recipes. These recipes are dad-friendly, meaning they are perfect for busy fathers who want to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with their family around Father's Day or any other time of year!


4 Dad-Friendly The Lion King Recipes!

Egg-in-a-Hole BBQ Burgers Recipe

Friday, June 14, 2019

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Nellie's Free Range Eggs. All opinions are my own.
Nellie's free range eggs

Anyone can grill a burger for a summertime party, but now you can create a barbecue experience for your friends and family with my Egg-in-a-Hole BBQ Burgers! This warm weather favorite, featuring Nellie's Free Range Eggs, will quickly become your go-to burger when you want to please all of your houseguests, or just satisfy our own hunger. I'm telling you, from adults to kids, my entire family loves this recipe and we are going to keep going back to it throughout the summer!

Nellie's free range eggs

This is way more than just a burger with an egg on top, so keep reading for my secret technique, but know that this is as much a bowl as it is a burger! Also remember not to settle for just any egg when you head to the store for ingredients. Up your game with rich and creamy Nellie's Free Range eggs because not only is the taste top of the line, but they love their hens and raise them on small, Certified Humane Free Range farms. Okay, it's time to find out how to make this amazing meal.

3 Unbeatable Ways to Top Your BBQ Steak For Father's Day!

Friday, June 7, 2019

This is a sponsored post in partnership with ALDI. All opinions are my own.
3 Unbeatable Ways to Top Your BBQ Steak For Father's Day!

When it comes to Father's Day in our family, the big question for us is always where to eat. We could go out to a restaurant, but then we would have to deal with getting the kids ready, waiting for a table, paying a premium price for food and service, and then gambling on whether the meal we order is actually going to live up to expectations or not. Dads hate being disappointed like that, especially on Father's Day. This is why we came up with a way that you can grill your favorite steak and then top it in these three unbeatable ways!

3 Unbeatable Ways to Top Your BBQ Steak For Father's Day!

The best part about these ideas is that you can pick up all of the ingredients at your local ALDI store, so you are getting a premium deal instead of a premium price like you would with going out to eat. Dads, you will love this next part. You can now use Instacart so you can have someone deliver your groceries to your door like the BBQ King that you are. Why should you have to climb in your car at all on Father's Day? Let the food come to you so that you can show off your talents at the BBQ. To make it even easier, I put together a custom Instacart list for you with everything that you will need to make BBQ steak three ways at ALDI. Just scroll down to easily order.

Our Surprise Big Family Goal For This Year is...

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Chase Freedom Unlimited. All opinions are my own.
Healthy Kids Meals With Chase Freedom Unlimited Card

Do you make goals with your family each year? Normally my wife and I will meet at the beginning of each year and talk through financial goals, large items we will need to purchase for our house, and sometimes other smaller personal goals. However, almost half way through this year, we have been motivated to create a goal for our entire family that we have never done before. The reason we didn't start at the beginning of the year is because it was a goal that we started to find more value in as the year has gone on.

We didn't put an exact number behind it so it is a different sort of goal for our family than we have ever set. This past week a box arrived in the mail that is the first step towards meeting our goal. Let's do an unboxing of sorts right now and talk about what our new goal is!

Healthy Kids Meals With Chase Freedom Unlimited Card

First out of the cardboard box is a fun custom lunchbox from Chase Freedom Unlimited! But what is inside the box? I know, it's like an enigma wrapped in a mystery. Keep scrolling!

Simple Summer Grilled Stuffed Peppers Recipe With Eggs and Sausage

Friday, May 31, 2019

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Nellie's Free Range Eggs. All opinions are my own.
Nellies Free Range Eggs

I totally understand. You're overly busy with work, a family, and everything that needs to be done around the house. What if you could make a meal out of a few ingredients, stick it on the grill so it doesn't require much cleanup, and then eat it out outside so your kids don't make a huge mess inside the house? Does this sound like a mythical legend? Guess what, it's possible with my Summer Grilled Stuffed Peppers featuring Nellie's Free Range Eggs!

Nellies Free Range Eggs

You basically just fill up these hollowed out peppers with the tasty goodness of eggs, meat, and cheese, and let them cook while you relax for a few minutes. You will be happier and your family will be full, which will make them happier. So basically everyone wins with this recipe! Just keep reading to find out how to make your next great meal.

Tornadoes, Floods, Elephants, Piggies, and Mo Willems' Thank-O-Rama!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

This is sponsored post in partnership with Disney Book Group. All opinions are my own.
Harold and Hog Pretend For Real

Tornadoes, flooding, giving thanks, Elephants, and Pigs. That pretty much sums up the last two weeks where we live here in Oklahoma! Almost every night we have been watching the weather to stay aware and safe. Tornadoes and floods have hit many areas of our state, and even the Oklahoma City metro area. However, our area of the city has been spared so far, so we have much to be thankful for. However, when we found out that Mo Willems, one of our family's favorite authors, had deemed May to be Thank-O-Rama month, we found it to be perfect timing to think about how blessed we are!

Harold and Hog Pretend For Real

We have definitely grown to love books by Mo Willems' in our house. Whenever we see a new release by him, or something special happening, we always make sure we check it out. Last week we not only found out about Thank-O-Rama month, and the tour that Mo Willems is on, but we found out about the new book in his Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series. It is Harold & Hog Pretend For Real, by author/illustrator Dan Santat, and it is such a good read.

Harold and Hog Pretend For Real
 
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