Healthy Road Trip Snacks

I can’t believe that summer is almost over! We’re taking a quick road trip this coming weekend just the kids and I. It’ll be our first really besides quick trips home to visit family. And while you gotta stop at greasy spoons and diners to get the full experience, I also want to provide some healthy snacks, too.

Here’s a round up of some healthy road trip snacks for kids and adults, alike.

scrap busting granola
We’ve made this scrap-busting granola from Pretty Prudent for school lunches. And it would be perfect for the road. We always have lots of dried fruit and Kashi Go Lean – my fav, too!

roadtrip boxes

I love these roadtrip boxes from Random Thoughts of a Supermom, but I think the 13 year old would finish it off before we left the driveway! But still a great idea!

baked apple chips

These baked apple chips look amazing! I can’t wait to try these, though I might eat them all before they hit the car.

snack necklace

I’m crazy about this road trip snack necklace. I want for myself for just regular drives to Target and down the street! I can think of lots of things to put on this one and it’s something that the 6 year old could help with. She’ll love it!


These frozen peanut butter banana bites look like they’d be great for the road, weekends at the pool, and for after school snacks. Definitely a why didn’t I think of that moment!

healthy snacks

A food blog I love called Eat Your Beets has some great suggestions for snack basics including fresh fruit and veggies. She also shares some great tips for traveling with kids.

I might have an even sweeter tooth than the kids and this round-up is mostly for me because truly they make some pretty healthy choices. I’d rather mainline a cherry coke and have a candy bar. Maybe I can do that when they’re sleeping…

Happy trails, everyone!
xo, Jennifer

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The Perfect Summer BBQ: Decor, Food + Games

Via Hostess with the Mostess

Via Hostess with the Mostess

We’re hosting a summer barbecue and you’re all invited! I’m coming to you from Kansas City, so I know a thing or twenty about gooooood BBQ. Grab a cold drink, a few napkins, and let’s check out some of the greatest recipes, outdoor decor, games, and more!

Everyone knows that the key to a good barbecue is the sauce.


Being from KC, I have to say that the very best sauce is from Oklahoma Joe’s (the best BBQ comes from old gas stations!!) The Night of the Living Barbeque Sauce is probably the greatest thing you’ll ever taste. Ever.

Want a bbq sauce you can make yourself? Here are some fantastic recipes that are not to be missed!


Skinny Eats cooked up the taste of my town with no high fructose corn syrup allowed BBQ sauce. You will LOVE it!

Fantastic Eats calls this “the Best Homemade BBQ Sauce Ever” and we are not one to argue this point. Good doesn’t even come close to describing this one!

Prefer a rub to sauce? Check out this delicious Father’s Day rub from Delia Creates. This is on the menu for this weekend! Can you say yum? And guess what? I do a rub on tofu sometimes, too. Don’t tell anyone though, I might get kicked out of the city!

While the protein is usually the star of any good barbecue, these sides are not to be missed!

grilled corn

Grilled Corn with Jalapeno-Lime Aioli and Parmesan Cheese. Oh, my goodness! If you do nothing else in life, make this. Really.


This is my go to side. Invite me over and I’m making BBQ Ranch Quinoa Salad. You can even make this one vegan! And if you want something a little more traditional check out this Creamy Grilled Potato Salad, you won’t be sorry!

I’m also a HUGE fan of grilled desserts. I mean, come on. There is something so delicious about grilling pineapple and peaches on the grill, don’t you think?


My mom made these grilled brown sugar glazed pineapple a few weeks ago and I can’t stop thinking about them! About 10 minutes and 3 ingredients — doesn’t get any better than that!


I have always wanted to try these grilled bananas with chocolate and marshmallows. Doesn’t that sound amazing?! Adding it to my waistline menu this weekend for sure.

I can already feel like maybe I need to move around a little. Too much delicious food! How about some games?

Jarts or lawn darts (the old pointy, “you’ll shoot your eye out kid” kind) have been the go to activity for the adults in my family for years. But if you want to live less dangerously, here are some fantastic diy backyard games for adults and kids alike.

dunk tank

I’m crazy about this diy dunk tank over on The Happy Housewife. She also has some fantastic tutorials for cornhole (or whatever you call it in your neck of the woods) and ring toss in post about backyard games.

lawn dominoes

How about a GIANT game of dominoes? I really, really want to make these this summer. I’m also still loving the water blobs, giant Jenga, and lawn Twister that are popular on Pinterest. How about you?

Soooo, we’ve eaten a lot, played some games, and way before that we probably should have decorated with some gingham and bandanas, huh?

outdoor bbq

This Vintage Memorial Day BBQ hosted by The Art Abyss is nothing short of perfect. How in the world do we get on the next invite list?!


I’m going to start a little more simply with this adorable diy bandana picnic quilt and a few of these tissue paper garlands.These diy burlap BBQ decorations are pretty cute, too!

burlap bbq decorations

Thanks for coming to my virtual barbecue, y’all! I can’t wait to see pics of all the parties you throw — invites would be pretty great, too. You already know what I’m bringing!

P.S. Now you’re all set to throw a surprise Father’s Day BBQ this weekend! He’ll love it!

Food Pins: Why do they want to eat every night?!

healthy foods i'll never make

One look at my Pinterest and you’d think I was the healthiest, runnery-ist, craftest gal in all the three counties. I spend my time pinning the most beautiful dinner parties complete with amazing thai dishes, perfectly curated table settings, a gorgeous dress, and twenty handmade somethings that my guest will just die for.

My fake life is so exhausting.

Gotta run. Those peanut butter & jelly sandwiches we’re having for dinner aren’t gonna make themselves, now are they?

xo, Jennifer

P.S. Doesn’t this one look amazing? Too bad we can’t survive on air & ideas.


Stone Soup & David Lynch’s Quinoa

stone soup recipe
Dinner is pretty simple at our house – something easy with lots of veggies. We make a lot of this stone soup. It’s a great way to get everyone involved in the kitchen and to focus on using what you have.

The story of stone soup is based on an old French tale where three hungry soldiers trick the inhabitants of a village into providing them with a feast. But we prefer a version where a lonely traveler sets up shop in the middle of a town square and begins to boil a stone in a pot of water. As people walk by they ask what he is making. And he tells them that it’s stone soup and so delicious, but what would really make it wonderful is some carrots, and then an onion, and so on as people walk by. In the end the village has come together to create a fantastic meal from nothing all by working together.

The story is lovely, but the fact that it’s so ridiculously easy is what makes this soup a win at our house. We make ours vegetarian, but you could easily add chicken, pork, or anything you’d like.

vegetarian stone soup

This soup was made at a friend’s & in the spirit of the story we combined what we had to make it.

How to Make Stone Soup

Gather up the veggies and supplies you have. Today we used vegetable stock, canned plum tomatoes (these are a favorite as they make the soup a little sweeter), celery, potatoes, an onion, carrots, kale, and some quinoa (which I cook separately and add in when serving). Sometimes we add green beans, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach…truly it’s whatever you have in the house. I sometimes just use water if I find we’re out of stock – really this one you can make up as you go along. [See the full recipe at the bottom of the post.]

veggies for stone soup

Kale, onion, carrots, celery, and potatoes

I start by chopping up all the veggies – I like large, rustic pieces and usually just tear the kale or spinach. Then add the broth, canned plum tomatoes, and vegetables to a large stock pot.

Bring the soup to a good boil. And then cover and reduce to a simmer. I usually let this simmer while working with kids on homework or just hanging out for a bit. If I make it on the weekends, I let it simmer for a few hours because it makes the house smell amazing. Really just cook it long enough for your potatoes and carrots (if you’re using them) to cook through – about 35 minutes. I add salt and pepper to taste, but you could easily add other spices or seasonings to make this soup your own.

I like to add quinoa to our soup for texture and a complete protein. I’ve tried adding it right to the soup, but it’s kind of greedy and drinks up all the stock. So I make mine in a separate pan. Follow the directions on the package, or better yet, check out this video of David Lynch cooking quinoa. So great!

cooking quinoa

Quinoa cooked for 15 minutes

And that’s it. You’ve made a tasty, healthy dinner that can serve 6-8 or provide lots of leftovers. We’re picky about leftovers but this one never goes to waste.

bowl of stone soup

This soup was made on location at a friend’s house. Super fun to make with friends or as a couple.

Have you made this soup? What are the staples you always include in yours? Tell me in the comments because my kiddos would probably like some variety here!

Soup Ingredients:
(2) containers of vegetable stock (or chicken, beef, or 6 cups of water)
(1) 28oz. can of Plum Tomatoes (diced or fresh tomatoes are fine, too, but I love the liquid and sweetness these create)
(5) carrots, chopped
(1) medium yellow onion, chopped in large pieces
(6) celery stalks, chopped
(5) medium sized potatoes – yellow or red, chopped
(1) large bunch of kale, torn – frozen will work, too!

(2) cups of quinoa
(4) cups of water

(1) tsp Seasalt – give or take
(1) tsp Black Pepper – to taste


  1. Clean and chop vegetables. I cut mine into large, rustic pieces.
  2. Add vegetable stock, plum tomatoes, and all vegetables into a large stock pot.
  3. Bring soup to a rolling boil. Then reduce heat, and cover. Simmer for 35 minutes to 2 hours depending on when you want to serve.
  4. 20 minutes before serving: In a separate pan, add 2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa. Bring quinoa to a boil.Boils quickly, so keep an eye on it. Then cover and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add quinoa to the bottom of your bowl. Ladle soup over the quinoa.
  7. Eat & enjoy!