3 Goals You Can Achieve: Part 2

We’ve almost officially reached the middle of January! So, how are you doing with your goals? Have you set goals for the year, or are you still working through what you would like to accomplish this year? Keep in mind, there truly isn’t anything magical about January 1. You can set a goal and start taking small steps toward achieving it at any time!

Last week, we shared the first part of our goal setting series where we’re walking through some of the most popular goals people set each year. The fun part is we’re sharing simple steps you can do today to start working toward reaching each goal, rather than solely having them written down without a game plan. Today, we’re digging into how to read more, how to stick to a budget, and how to spend time with family and friends (yes, even during COVID-19; stay with us!). Keep reading, and make sure to tune back in next week for the third – and final – part of our series!

Read More: 

If books are on your mind, we’re here to help! This goal definitely relates to spending less time on screens, but we thought it deserved its own section. 

Consider starting slow by setting a goal to read 1 book/month. Then try to read 10-20 pages per day or set aside 15-30 minute windows of time to read. The best thing to do is to find a consistent window of time each day to carve out this routine! 

Another idea is to read books that have been turned into movies or TV shows (we compiled a list that you can find here!). Knowing you can experience how a creative team took a book from the page to the screen can be a great motivator to finish a book.

If you’re looking for great books to enjoy throughout the year, Good Housekeeping released a list of the most anticipated books of 2021!

Stick to a Budget: 

There are plenty of articles and tips about how to create and stick to a budget, but we’re here to share simple ways you can stay on track! 

One place to easily spend more each week than you may have originally intended is at the grocery store. So, make a list before you shop. Then stick to your list even as you wander down the aisles. Another idea? Don’t shop when you’re hungry! Because we’ve done it, we can confirm the rumors are true: you do, in fact, purchase more if you shop while dreaming about your next meal or snack.

Another simple thing to do to keep your budget on track is to use Shopkick to your advantage! In between interacting with us on Instagram and Facebook, pop onto the app and explore the Discover page – glance through lookbooks, watch videos, and see how you can earn kicks on your next shopping trip. Once you reach your chosen kick goal, redeem your kicks for a gift card that you can use when you next pick up the essentials on your list. Shopkick is free to use! What budget tip could be better?   

Spend More Time with Family & Friends:  

COVID-19 has definitely changed how we spend time with family and friends and, of course, how often we can gather together. But, that shouldn’t stop you from checking in on your favorite people! Many of us are suffering from Zoom fatigue once we reach the end of the day or week, so we highly recommend taking what some might call an “old fashioned” approach: pick up the phone. 

Plan a time to catch up with a friend or family member, and make it a weekly date! To feel even more connected, you can both plan to engage in the same activity, whether that’s talking while you’re taking individual walks, driving home from work, or catching up on chores (a phone call makes laundry more fun!). A call with someone you love will brighten your day!

We’re here to cheer you on! Keep sharing your progress with us on Facebook as we all work toward achieving our goals (and more) in 2021.

10 Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving at Home

Many of us are trading in travel plans for a cozy day and night at home this Thanksgiving. Even though this year’s holiday may look a little different, there are still plenty of ways to make sure your family’s day still feels equally as festive. From kid-friendly crafts and can’t-miss TV specials to delicious recipes to serve and much more, keep reading below for 10 ways to ensure your at-home Thanksgiving still leaves you feeling extra grateful.

Get Crafting: 

One of the sweetest ways to decorate your home during the holidays is with crafts created by your kids! We spotted this turkey DIY, this pumpkin pie garland, these painted leaves and rocks (kids love collecting items!), and this coloring page (perfect for older kids and adults, too). What will you and your family make?

Watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade: 

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade always signals Thanksgiving and the holiday season has officially arrived, so plan to tune in with your family. The parade will still happen just as it always does (with a few Covid changes, of course), and it always offers such a fun peek at New York City. The parade starts to air live at 9 a.m. EST on NBC!

Watch the National Dog Show: 

Don’t change the channel when the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade comes to a close because the National Dog Show airs right after on NBC. This special is a competition, but the announcers always offer plenty of insight into the dogs and their breeds. If you’re thinking about adopting a dog, the National Dog Show will offer plenty of inspiration, not to mention an abundance of cute pups.

Take a Hike: 

Whether you visit a local park or search for a new-to-you trail to explore with your family, spending time outside is one of the most fun ways to spend a holiday. You can even turn your hike into a scavenger hunt for your kids by asking them to point out different colors, animals, or items found in nature.  

Run a 5K: 

Before the tryptophan hits, consider running (or walking!) a 5K with your family. You don’t need to follow a specific route; you just need to complete 3.1 miles. If you’re hoping to do a more official race, look online for virtual options to help to hold you and your crew accountable.

Set the Table: 

Today is a great day to use the “good” china! Pull the pieces you save for holidays off of their shelves, and set a table that will make you feel extra fancy (even if you’re planning to feast in your daytime pajamas). You can even make your own centerpiece to add extra flair.

Bake a New Recipe: 

If you have been eying a new recipe, Thanksgiving is a great day to give it a try! If you’re searching for delicious desserts, pop into the app, take a peek at Sally’s Baking Addiction, or pay Ina Garten (aka: The Barefoot Contessa) a visit. All three sources have plenty of recommendations to share!

Zoom Cocktail Hour: 

Whether you’re missing family and friends or simply want to say “hi”, invite your favorite people to a Zoom cocktail hour. You can even share cocktail recipes beforehand or make them live together. Outside of catching up with your loved ones, defining your Zoom as a “cocktail hour” places a time limit just in case the energy starts to lag.

Share Your Grateful List: 

Now more than ever, we’re all searching for positivity. Even though this year has had plenty of twists and turns, we do firmly believe there’s at least one thing (even if it’s small and simple) that has left you feeling grateful. Whether you share what you’re grateful for over dinner or dessert or throughout the day, make sure you do. Hearing positivity is certain to make you smile.

Watch a Holiday Movie: 

End your Thanksgiving Day by welcoming the holiday season! Plan to watch a holiday movie with your family inside cozied up on the sofa or outside on a projector. You can’t go wrong with “Love Actually” (for teenagers and adults) or “The Grinch” (perfect for anyone at any age)!

How are you spending your Thanksgiving? Keep sharing ideas with our community on Facebook!

Top 5 Thanksgiving Hacks to Make Hosting Fun and Easy

When we think about Thanksgiving, family favorite recipes and visions of loved ones gathered together immediately comes to mind. During a year when we have spent more time apart from family and friends than ever before, a holiday spent (safely!) together sounds like an absolute delight. 

Even though Thanksgiving is one of the most joyful holidays, there’s also an element of stress for the host. So, if you’re planning to host your first Thanksgiving or your fiftieth, keep reading! We’re sharing our own list of 5 tips and tricks to make this year’s hosting duties a breeze.

Top 5 Thanksgiving Hacks to Make Hosting Fun and Easy | www.shopkick.com

1. The Early Shopper Always Wins: 

This year, Thanksgiving is on Thursday, November 26. You’re likely thinking you have plenty of time to shop – and you do! But, why wait until the week of Thanksgiving when grocery stores will be packed to purchase everything you need? Instead, start adding nonperishables and paper products (more on this below) to your pantry, especially if items are on sale. As the holiday approaches, you will only have items like turkey, vegetables, and any fruit still on your list.

Top 5 Thanksgiving Hacks to Make Hosting Fun and Easy | www.shopkick.com

2. “I’m attracted to pie.”

We’ve all heard that homemade recipes are the best recipes, but Lorelai Gilmore wouldn’t knock pre-made pie and neither should you! Consider picking up a pre-made pie or use pre-made pie crust for your pumpkin pie recipe. By purchasing pre-made where you can, you can still add a homemade twist. The difference is the time needed will be far less and will feel much more doable.

Top 5 Thanksgiving Hacks to Make Hosting Fun and Easy | www.shopkick.com

3. Warm it Up: 

Most Thanksgiving dishes require differing temperatures and timelines for cooking, so warming settings will prove helpful. Consider using slow cookers to keep dishes, like mashed potatoes, stored and warm. You can also use thermoses to keep gravy warm, and you can always warm things up in the microwave.

Top 5 Thanksgiving Hacks to Make Hosting Fun and Easy | www.shopkick.com

4. Dress Down Your Code: 

If ever there was a year for a casual dress code, 2020 is the year! While we do suggest wearing something other than your daytime pajamas, encouraging your family and friends to arrive in clothes they feel comfortable wearing will create a more relaxed atmosphere. This year, the focus is truly on spending time together.

Top 5 Thanksgiving Hacks to Make Hosting Fun and Easy | www.shopkick.com

5. Make Cleanup a Breeze

Holidays are typically when we all like to use the “good china”, but why? On holidays, we’re joined by more people than those who typically sit around our tables on an everyday basis. That means more cleanup! To make cleanup a breeze, opt for paper products for everything from plates and napkins to silverware and cups. The added bonus of paper products this year is you won’t be washing used items (a great added safety layer during Covid). 

Do you have any Thanksgiving hacks to add to our list? Join the conversation with us and our community on Facebook!

How to Safely Celebrate Halloween

For many of us, Halloween is a holiday we look forward to all year long. It’s a chance to get creative, join together with friends and family to dress up, enjoy all of our favorite treats, and maybe attend a party of two. And, that’s before we even mention all of the fun that Halloween has in store for kids from costumes and school parties to parades and trick-or-treating. Needless to say, we are with you in searching for fun and easy ways to safely celebrate Halloween this year. So, we’re sharing five ways to celebrate Halloween from home!

Carve Pumpkins:

Aside from trick-or-treating, the most quintessential Halloween activity is definitely carving pumpkins. So, plan to purchase pumpkins just like you do every other year! Then choose your pattern or carve your pumpkin free-hand. You could even encourage a little friendly competition amongst family and friends and ask participants to virtually cast votes for their favorite designs. The winner gets a gift card to purchase their favorite treat! 

Decorate + Drive:

Similar to carving pumpkins, plan to decorate your house this year. Big and bold designs are always fun to see, and the neighbors in your community will love driving by to catch their own glimpse. On Halloween (or even before!) plan to drive through your town with your family to peek at all of the decorated homes. 

To make this idea a little more social, you might think about decorating your car for Halloween and meeting at a friend’s house for a drive-by Halloween parade. Your kids can even put on their costumes!

Make DIY Costumes:

This is definitely the year to dive into more involved projects at home, so think about creating your own Halloween costumes with your kids. Something as simple as a cardboard box can go a long way (and we all have plenty of those after shopping online throughout the year!). Then save your costumes to enjoy long after Halloween as you replenish your dress up box with new one-of-a-kind outfits for fun, imaginative play.

Do a Halloween Candy Scavenger Hunt: 

Candy is synonymous with Halloween, but trick-or-treating might not feel like the safest idea this year. So, purchase bags of your kids’ favorite Halloween treats and plan your own scavenger hunt (like an Easter egg hunt!). Hide candy inside your home or outside in your yard and encourage your kids to dress up while they search for their treats. You can even set a timer to see who can find the most candy the fastest! Post hunt, unwind with chili, candy, and a Halloween movie. 

Watch a Halloween Film:

As we mentioned briefly above, plan to watch a Halloween movie! We love enjoying a Halloween classic like “Hocus Pocus”, “Casper”, or “The Adams Family”. Maybe this is the year when you gather for a movie marathon and watch more than one! Plan to pop popcorn and enjoy your favorite candy or dipped apples. If the weather allows, you can even project your family’s Halloween movie choice onto a sheet or screen in your backyard. 

How are you planning to safely celebrate Halloween this year? Share your ideas with our community on Facebook!

4 Simple Hacks for Productivity

Do you feel like you’re due for a reset whenever a new season begins? We’re right there with you! Currently, we’re tempted to edit all areas of our lives, from recipes we’re cooking to how we’re staying organized. Instead of tackling everything all at once (life is better in moderation anyway!), we thought we would do a deep dive into one area: productivity.  

One of the best feelings at the end of the day is knowing you spent your time well, and that looks different for all of us. One person might say they feel like their day is an A+ when they complete every task on their to-do list, while someone else might say they had a great day because they enjoyed a great workout, read a book, or spent time with family. Although our days may look different, the feelings that offer us fulfillment are the same: we did what we set out to do. 

So, here is our question to you: Why limit your great days to those that happen now and again? Here are four quick and easy tips to get your productivity on track so you can give the day an A+ more often than not!

Focus on the Small Picture:

Just like you, we create long to-do lists. However, sometimes we end up feeling overwhelmed by the number of tasks we need to complete rather than energized by having things to do. So, break it down and hone in on the “small picture” rather than focusing solely on the “big picture”.

For example, if you want to organize your closest, you have uncovered your big picture goal. But, a quick look inside will tell you there is quite a distance between how it might look now and the ideal situation you have in your mind. So, create smaller goals. Something like sort t-shirts into groups to keep, toss, or donate groups or place same season clothes together feels much more doable. 

The important thing to keep in mind is each small task you complete acts as a building block. Sooner rather than later you will have built your way toward placing a check mark next your big picture goal! 

Set Three Goals:

Similar to the above, it’s unlikely you will be able to complete a long to-do list in one day. So, choose three goals or tasks to work on throughout the day. It may look like working out, meeting a deadline, and attending a soccer game. If you finish a task or all three, feel free to add an additional goal if time allows. The key thing is if you *only* complete those top three goals, you will still end the day knowing you got your three *most important* things done. And, that counts! 

Limit Your Screen Time:

We see this suggestion time and time again, but we still find we spend quite a bit of time on our phones. Our suggestion? Make physical changes by creating barriers, so your phone truly isn’t an opinion.

Consider charging your phone (or other screens!) in another room if you’re trying to work or even watch TV uninterrupted. Another idea is to set a “screen time” within your phone’s Settings. A message will pop up when you’ve spent too much time on social media, for example. A third idea is to create “no phone zones”, whether that involves not using your phone in certain rooms or areas of your home (the dinner table!) or times when you need to put it away (right before bed). 

By creating physical barriers, you will find you not only spend less time in front of a screen but also that you want to spend more time doing something else!

Block Your Time:

If your high school had block scheduling, this concept will likely sound familiar. Essentially, the idea is to section your day off into specific “blocks” of time. For example, you might start your day off with a block of time to spend with your kids and your dog. Then, you might have a block of time devoted to emails. After that, you might tackle a more difficult project for another period of time before pausing for lunch and to-dos that don’t require as much effort.

The goal with blocking your time is to allow yourself to have the space during your day to devote serious time to focusing on one specific task. That way you don’t feel as though you’re popping from one thing to the next before anything is complete.

What are your best productivity tips? Keep sharing on Facebook!

Fall Apple Crafts for Kids

There are many reasons to celebrate the arrival of fall, and we think one of them is definitely the start of apple season! We highly recommend choosing an afternoon to go apple picking in your local area. But, if apple picking isn’t quite your speed, there are still plenty of ways to craft with them. We’ve scoured the web to find five apple crafts we think kids of many different ages will enjoy. Let’s jump in! 

Apple Stamping:

Kids love to paint, and apples make wonderful stamps. We found two apple stamping tutorials that you should try! One involves creating an apple basket, while the other will lead your littles to make painted apples with faces you can hang. This is a simple way to encourage your kids’ creativity and love for color!

Apple Weaving:

If you have kids that are slightly older, challenge their fine motor skills with this apple weaving craft. You will need cardboard, paint, ribbon, and a few extra (common!) tools. Weaving is great because it acts as a great way for kids to create patterns using texture and color, and the apple is a fun seasonal touch.

Apple Watercolor:

By using makers and water on coffee filters, your kids can create their own unique watercolor art. The great thing about this craft is you likely have the core supplies at home, which means you won’t have to spend additional money. We love that the end result is apples with a creative twist you can hang up all season long! 

Apple Sun Catchers: 

To add new seasonal fun to your windows, think about creating apple sun catchers! We found two different tutorials to create new accessories for your windows, and both are equally unique. The first involves collecting fallen autumn leaves in your yard and then piecing them together to create a sun catcher. The second involves creating apple shapes using plastic beads. You can’t go wrong!

Apple Keepsake:

Kids grow and change quickly, so it’s sweet to make and hang up crafts that include their hands and feet. This apple keepsake asks makers to stamp their painted feet onto paper and then turn the stamp into an apple. You could also create a similar look by repeatedly stamping a finger. Either way, the result is a project you will treasure for years.

Which apple project will you make with your kids? Share your creativity on Facebook!

How to Embrace Back to School Season

Over the past few months, we’ve discovered a new appreciation for our schools and teachers, especially as we look ahead to back to school season. This time of year always feels like the holidays for many parents and students. While this year likely continues to look and feel different for many students and families, we still believe back to school can (and should!) be celebrated. No matter if you’re prepping to learn virtually from home or return back to the classroom, below are four tips for embracing back to school this year. 

Start Incorporating Learning: 

Depending on where you reside, you’re either days away from returning to school or you have another month filled with summer fun. Either way, one of the best ways to start getting into the school mindset is to ease it back into your everyday routine. Set aside time for your kids to read, switch to an educational game on a computer or iPad, dive into a math game, or complete a science experiment. By welcoming learning back now, students will feel more ready to fully embrace a school schedule in the days and weeks to come.

Create a Schedule: 

The summer is when we all relax our schedules and embrace a go-with-the-flow mindset, but schedules are key during the school year. Take a moment to revisit first grade teacher Mrs. Lamb’s tips from the spring. She and her kids discovered how they can best learn while at home. Mrs. Lamb said sometimes that involves incorporating more focused work during the morning followed by an increased emphasis on play in the afternoon. Start determining how you think your family’s ideal school day will look and feel now. Then give it a try in advance of your official start date.

Shop for School:

We know how much students love shopping for new school supplies, and this year should not be any different even if you’re planning to learn virtually from home. Purchase new folders, notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, markers, tech, and more just like you normally would. This nod to normalcy will feel comfortable, familiar, and exciting to your kids, and we think you will enjoy it too.

Also, consider shopping for back to school clothes! We’ve found it’s best to make a concerted effort to get dressed every day even if we’re working at home, and we think the same is true for kids. Think about shopping for new tops, pants, dresses, and shoes from their favorite stores, like Carter’s, OshKosh B’gosh, GAP, Kohls, Dicks Sporting Goods, and more through your Shopkick app as you embrace the fall season together. You’ll earn kicks, and your kids will keep up with their fun school year style. 

Embrace the School Season:

Just as you did during the spring, now is the time to embrace the school season whether it involves learning from home or returning back to the classroom. The more you and your student lean into learning, the more fun and normal it will become. Many of us are facing the same challenges, so keep this in mind: We’re all learning together, Shopkickers!

How are you and your kids embracing back to school this year? We would love to hear your thoughts on Facebook! 

P.S: For more on our “How to Homeschool” series with Mrs. Lamb, click here!

Merry Christmas in July: How to Save Early with Shopkick

We have reached July, Shopkickers! One of the best things we have focused on this year is the joy of simply having something to look forward to, and Christmas definitely fits the bill. Even though Christmas and the holiday season are still six months away, that simply means there is plenty of time to sneak Christmas songs onto your playlist, start organizing your Christmas movie watch list, and begin prepping to save for the holiday season.

We know every little bit helps, especially during a year filled with so much uncertainty, so celebrating Christmas in July by sharing easy ways you can earn kicks and gift cards to stow away well in advance of the holiday season. Let’s dive into the simple steps you can take before, during, and after you shop! 

Before Shopping:

  1. Turn on Bluetooth for Walk-ins: When you open your Shopkick app, you will be prompted to turn on Bluetooth. Make sure you do! This enables you to receive kicks, whenever available, for walking into your favorite stores. 
  2. Link Your Card: Whether you’re shopping in stores or online, make sure to link your credit card. You can do this by clicking on the person icon in the upper left hand corner of the home screen. Then scroll down to “Linked Cards”, which is found under “My Account”. The trick is making sure to use the card that’s linked when you shop!
  3. Turn on Notifications: Whether you’re receiving notifications while you’re at home or as you’re walking into stores, make sure to enable them on your phone. This will allow you to be in the know about kicks before you start your shopping trip. 

During Shopping: 

  1. Scan While You Shop: While you’re shopping in stores, like Walmart, Target, and your grocery store, take a peek at the list of items that are available for you to earn kicks. While you’re strolling down the one-way aisles, scan! This is such a simple way to earn kicks on items you were already planning to purchase as well as those that might not be on your list during your current trip.  
  2. Submit Your Receipts: If you have scanned an item that also can be redeemed for more kicks by submitting your receipt, make sure you send a photo of your slip in! Your kicks will be rewarded shortly after your receipt is received by the Shopkick team. Keep an eye on your kick total, and watch it grow!

After Shopping: 

  1. Explore the Discover Tab: While you’re at home watching Hulu or enjoying your backyard, take a moment to explore the Discover Tab. You will find plenty of content, including lookbooks and links to blog posts. Plus, you also might just find hidden kicks!
  2. Watch Videos: Brands love launching videos in the app, so keep your eyes peeled! Videos appear while you’re shopping in stores, and they’re also on the Discover Tab. Make sure to watch so you can earn even more kicks.

What are your go-to ways to earn kicks? How are you saving for the holiday season? Let us know your best tips and favorite Christmas movies on Facebook!

Simple Ways to Get Outdoors This Summer

Summer feels a little different right now, so we have to take matters into our own hands and make the most of it! We are all definitely not trapped inside, so let’s keep making sure to get outside into the fresh air. Whether you’re a homebody or an adventurer, we’re sharing fun and simple ways to get outside, and we think you’ll find a perfect match among these suggestions! 

Host a Cookout

Not feeling up to planning a full day trip or excursion? Why not spend the day with loved ones by hosting a backyard barbecue?! While this may not be the most outdoorsy option, you’re bound to have a good time. Get creative by putting your own twist on classic recipes to make new traditions in your household. Plus, get active by pulling out a soccer ball or corn hole boards to get a little friendly competition going. Kids not around? Throw it back to your college years and dust off the old beer pong skills. Whatever activities you enjoy, getting out into the sun is key!

Start a Garden

Whether you have a small plot of land in your yard or a little planter box on your balcony, you can turn it into something beautiful and beneficial! Just by putting in a little bit of research into the types of plants that will thrive in your environment or based on the level of care you want to commit to, you’ll find something great that works for you. Will fresh herbs or tomatoes elevate your cooking? Will your favorite flowers (we love wildflowers and sunflowers!) liven up your space? Let’s find out! Grab some soil, seeds, and get to work! 

Check Out a Local Park

No matter where you live, there’s a park nearby to explore! An easy way to get out into a greener environment is to check out open, public spaces. Maybe it’s a metro park, neighborhood park, dog park, or even national park. Make a day out of it by bringing the kids, dog, frisbee, and picnic. Just getting some fresh air and a change of scenery can make a huge difference if you feel stuck in a tired schedule.

Go for a Hike (or Walk)

Hey outdoor enthusiast! You’re our type of gal/guy. A great way to get outside and embrace the natural world around you is to find a trail and get those steps in. Maybe you have a favorite hiking trail, or maybe you want to take up hiking as a new hobby. Either way, a great place to start is alltrails.com! You can plug in your location and find a spot that fits your desired location, activity, difficulty level, length, and so much more. Enjoy the warmer months by getting out and exploring nature! 

If a strenuous hike isn’t really your thing, you can still get moving with a low-intensity walk around similar trails, parks (see above), or even your neighborhood. Got kids? Building healthy habits and fun hobbies together like going on walks as a family is a great bonding opportunity.

Go Camping

If you’re really vying for a chance to get away from home, try planning a camping trip. It’s super easy to go online and reserve a campsite at a drive-in campground, or you could even backpack into a remote area if you’re feeling ambitious. Either way, just being immersed in nature and soaking up the sights, sounds, and smells can bring peace of mind and soul. Getting out of the house and finding adventure and/or tranquility within the natural world is an easy way to have a vacation on a budget. If you don’t have the time or energy to round up the troops and get away for the weekend, try pitching a tent in your backyard to have a fun but low-stress “getaway” with the kids!

Fruit Picking

It’s summer fruit season (a personal favorite of ours)! If day trips are more your speed, fruit picking is a fun, quick way to try something new, get out into the sun, and get your grocery shopping done. There are lots of fruits and veggies in season this time of year, so check out berry patches, stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, etc.) orchards, and local vegetable gardens that allow you to pick your own produce. If something like this doesn’t exist in your area, try hitting up a farmer’s market! You’ll still be able to find the freshest goods and greens, but the hard part of harvesting is already done for you.

How will you get outside this season? Keep the conversation going on Facebook!

5 Quick Work from Home Summer Lunch Recipes

During a season of spending more time at home than ever before, we’ve discovered one of the greatest perks is having a complete kitchen at our fingertips. This change has allowed us to have the freedom to mix up our lunch routine, and we have enjoyed trying new recipes. Now that summer is officially here, we have been wanting to try lighter fare that’s cool and refreshing while still packing a serious flavorful punch. So, we’re sharing five quick and easy summer lunch recipes you can either make in minutes before enjoying them or prep and enjoy throughout the week!

Chickpea Salad Sandwich:

If you’re looking for a new twist on a classic salad sandwich, try Real Simple’s Chickpea Salad Sandwich recipe! It still combines many of the classic ingredients used in chicken salad, but the biggest difference is in the name – chickpeas are used instead of meat. Prep the chickpea mash in advance and make in moments at lunchtime!

Broccoli Salad:

We love when salads are known to be even more delicious the next day or even a few days later as they are when they’re prepped fresh from the fridge, and this Broccoli Salad from Love and Lemons definitely fits the bill! It combines broccoli together with red onions, cranberries, and almonds. If you want to add meat for extra protein, we think chicken would taste delicious.

Easy Pasta Salad:

If you read our post about recipes to enjoy with a single box of pasta, you’ll remember we noted pasta is great in salads! So, we when spotted this Easy Pasta Salad recipe from Love and Lemons, we knew we needed to include it. Similar to the Broccoli Salad above, this is another recipe you can enjoy for several days. Pasta, cucumber, feta cheese, arugula, and chickpeas are a few of the ingredients in this salad, and there’s also instructions to create a homemade dressing. 

Egg Avocado Toast:

Avocado toast continues to be a staple, so who can argue with enjoying a new-to-us recipe for lunch? How Sweet Eats introduced us to her Egg Avocado Toast recipe, which includes shaved egg from a hardboiled egg you can prep in advance, avocado, radishes, chives, and salt and pepper. This recipe could not be easier, which means it will be on repeat this summer!

Asian Chicken Salad:

Damn Delicious shared an Asian Chicken Salad recipe, and it’s filled with bright colors. We’re certain it has plenty of bold flavors too! To create this recipe, you will want to have romaine lettuce, cabbage, mandarin oranges, chow mein noodles, and carrots on hand. Plus, she mentions cooking chicken at home, which would be delicious. But, we think adding rotisserie chicken would add just as much flavor while saving time (if needed!). 

What have you been making for lunch? Share your go-to ideas with us and our community on Facebook!

9 Ways to Celebrate Father’s Day

Summer officially arrives this weekend, and we also have another reason to celebrate – Father’s Day is on Sunday, June 21! While this year might look and feel different than in year’s past, we do still think there are plenty of ways to celebrate. After all, celebrating feels like such a highlight! Below are nine ways to celebrate Father’s Day from near and far. 

Play Mini Golf:

If you would like to adventure out, consider playing mini golf or pitch and putt at a local golf course. It’s a fun activity for parents and kids alike. Plus, it’s fairly easy to remain socially distant while you play. Which member of your family will win your round? Do you think anyone will score a hole-in-one? 

Beach Day:

If your dad loves the beach, consider spending the day on the sand by the sea! Build sandcastles, play in the water, and take a walk on the beach. Think about bringing subs to eat on the sand or stop for pizza to-go for an easy dinner with minimal cleanup. 

Backyard Games:

Turn Father’s Day into a mini competition in your backyard! Play backyard games, like corn hole and Jenga, create an obstacle course, DIY a slip-n-slide, or play in your pool (if you have one!). There are plenty of options for backyard fun at home.

Relaxation Station:

Is your dad craving a break? Surprise him with a day in which your family members let him take the day off. Set up a hammock so he can read, listen to music, or nap. Think about making him lunch or dinner too. He’ll end his day feeling refreshed and ready to start playing again!

Movie Night:

Whether you watch a movie no one in your family has seen or one you all love to watch together, plan a screening inside or outside with a projector. For even more fun, let dad choose which movie he wants to watch! Bonus points if it’s from his childhood because it will serve as a fun introduction to a classic for kids. 


You can choose to go camping at a campsite or a park, or you can pitch a tent in your backyard. Share stories, enjoy a barbecue, and don’t forget to make s’mores. If you would rather camp inside that’s doable – just create your own campsite in your family room!


The Home Depot has plenty of DIY ideas you can easily make with dad! Take a peek at their site, stop by your local store for all of the supplies, and start building your creation together. 


Summer is synonymous with grilling, and we know many dads who love to cook the entire menu. Make all of his favorites! If you’re looking for new recipes, try your hand at grilling fruit. All Recipes has a great how-to!

Zoom or Driveway Happy Hour: 

If you can’t spend the day with dad, schedule a happy hour or dinner over Zoom! It’s not quite the same as being in person, but it does feel great to “see” each other. You will still be able to enjoy plenty of conversation! If you want to gather but at a safe social distance, host a happy hour in your driveway, ask everyone to bring their own beverages, and set up your own chairs 6’ apart.

How are you celebrating Father’s Day? Let us know on Facebook!

5 Surfaces to Sanitize in Under 10 Minutes

Between spending much more time at home living in our spaces rather than passing by throughout the day to having a desire to be extra vigilant to keep spaces tidy, we have made sure to keep our most visited spaces cleaner than ever before. Although we (and you!) feel like we have sanitized every surface, there are likely a few that might be flying under the radar. The good news is these five areas are quick to clean, and we think you can cross them off of your list in 10 minutes or less. Keep reading below! 

1. Cell Phone & Tablet:

Cleaning your cell phone and tablet might make you feel alarmed, but there are plenty of products that are safe to use on your tech. Look for tech cleaning kits at stores like Walmart, Target, or an office supply location, which often include a cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth. This article also points out other methods for cleaning your tech, like using hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes.

2. Counters:

One of the most visited areas in your home is your kitchen, especially as we all make more meals at home. So, make sure to wipe down your kitchen counters regularly. You might even want to wipe them down before and after meals to be extra vigilant! Speaking of counters, don’t forget to wipe down the counters in your bathroom.

3. Door Knobs, Handles, Faucets, & Switch Plates:

We are always closing doors, touching faucets, opening cabinets, and turning lights on and off. As a result, each represents a surface that should be wiped down regularly. A disinfectant wipe will do the trick! 

4. Computer:

Whether you’re working from home or working from an office, our fingers are always touching our computer’s keys. So, wipe them down! Make sure to use a computer friendly product when you do clean off your keyboard. A tech specific cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth will do the trick! This article goes into even more depth about how to properly clean this frequently used item.

5. Remote:

Whether you’re watching cable TV, a movie, or binging shows and movies from a streaming service, you are likely using your remote. Make sure to clean your remote often! Consider using a disinfectant wipe on it either at least once per day.

To make the process less daunting, set a timer and clean as much as you can in a 5-10 minute window. Then repeat later in the day to clean any areas you may have missed.

Let us know your best cleaning tips on Facebook!