Spaweek.com ~ Gear Up for Summer Giveaway

Spa Week BannerThis month, Dads and grads are at the top of our mind.  For all of their hard work and dedication, it’s important to recognize their sacrifices and accomplishments.  While it may be tempting to show your appreciation via the “usual suspects” presented by this season – balloons, ties, steak dinners, electronics, etc. – Spa Week is going the extra “mile” to recognize these hard workers.

In honor of Father’s Day and the achievements of this year’s graduates, visitors to SpaWeek.com can enter the Gear Up For Summer Giveaway for a chance to win their dearest dad or grad the ultimate fitness package including America’s favorite bike: a Schwinn!  Despite the abundance of calorie-laden temptations around this season – ice cream, hamburgers, frozen cocktails, you name it – we’re making sure that the winner will keep active and stay fit this summer and beyond by riding his/her Schwinn Network 2.0 Bike.

In order to enhance the winner’s vim and vigor, he/she will also receive a FitBit Flex to help track their active lifestyle and set fitness goals, a Schwinn helmet to ensure safety comes first, a KOR Nava Filtered Water Bottle to keep hydrated and healthy on the road, an Expedition Backpack 300 – perfect for transporting must-have picnic essentials, and a $100 Spa & Wellness Gift Card by Spa Week® to use at their choice of over 8,000 spas and wellness locations across North America.  After a long bike ride, there’s nothing like a good massage to soothe and invigorate sore, tired muscles.

We all love our Dads and grads, so click over to enter them into this great giveaway, and if you haven’t yet decided on a gift…………Spa Week has some amazing deals going on for discounted spa certificates.  Can you ever go wrong with the gift of relaxation??  I think not! :)

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Thankful Heart Thursday ~ It’s Summerrrrrrr

Thankful Heart Thursday ShellBees, will buzz
Lexi’ll blow dandelion fuzz
And I’ll be loving all of it, ’cause
It’s SUMMERRRRRR!!!
……………………………………………..
And I LOVE, that I can be
Right there beside my little lady
‘Cause I’ve been waiting all school year to say
It’s SUMMERRRRRRRR!!!!

OK.  If you didn’t know, now you know.  I can be bit nerdy at times ;)  It’s true though. This is my absolute favorite time of year because my little ladybug is back home with me EVERY SINGLE DAY!!

Lexi and I have taken this first week off to just be together!  We have declined outings with friends(even though it was SO HARD to do!!) just to have a little bit of time to regroup and reconnect with each other and I am SO GLAD that we did!!!  Summer is full of fun, fun, and more fun, but is over before we know it.  I am just so thankful for these few days that we’ve had together and I am so looking forward to making some amazing memories with friends and family over the next few months as we always do.

So, for today,

I’m thankful, for the breeze
And our weekly picnics under the trees
I’m thankful because we’ve waited, but now
IT’S SUMMERRRRRRRR!!!

 

 

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I Love You, Dad ~ Father’s Day Photo Idea

Father’s Day is just around the corner and sometimes it can be hard to decide on the perfect gift for Dad.  If you’ve got a handy man, you can find something new from the hardware store.  If your man is trendy, there’s always a new outfit or pair of shoes.  A golfer??  New clubs, balls, or certificate to his favorite course.  Over time, though, no matter who your man is and what he enjoys, you start to run out of ideas.IMG_6425The picture above is one that my daughter and I did for my hubby a couple years ago and he LOVED it!  It was a fun photo shoot full of pictures of her done just for him.  We cut the I love you message into a piece of cardboard, went to a park on a sunny day, and took advantage of the great shadows.

IMG_6409This was a fun one, too!!  Totally unplanned, but one of my(and the hubby’s) favorites!! What’s fun about these pictures is that it sends a sweet message without really using any words.  Just a simple reminder of how much your kids love their Dad, even when he’s not around.

You can totally steal this shadow idea if you’d like, but you could also change it up a little. Why not have the kids make cool chalk drawings or messages on the driveway and snap a pic of them sitting by their masterpieces??  Maybe make a batch of cookies cut into letters that spell out a sweet message for him that you could then lay out for a fun picture(BONUS, he’d get to eat the cookies afterwards!!)??

Obviously, this post is centered around creating a fun and unique picture for that special man in your life, but we all know Dad.  He’s gonna love just about anything his kids give him, so help them get their creative juices flowing and have fun creating with them!!  Be sure to wish that amazing man in your life a Happy Father’s Day from What Mama Wants, too!! :)

 

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How to Train Your Dragon 2 ~ Movie Premiere

Looking for an action-packed weekend of fun for the whole family? Head to your local IMAX® Theater for the premiere of How to Train Your Dragon 2!

Starting this Friday, June 13th, the second chapter of DreamWorks Animation’s belovedHow to Train Your Dragon franchise is soaring to all IMAX theatres domestically in select engagements. The IMAX 3D release will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience®, creating a unique environment that will make audiences feel as though they are flying alongside heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon, Toothless.

Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, T.J. Miller, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Kristen Wiig reprise their respective voice roles, joined this time by Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett, Djimon Honsou and Kit Harington.

I feel bad admitting this, but we have yet to see the first How to Train Your Dragon!!  We have heard SUCH great things from friends, though, and are excited to see this sequel!! It’s ok to watch movies in reverse order, right?!?! ;)  Grab your kids(and your kids friends, for that matter) and head out for a movie experience that they are sure to LOVE!!

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Hump Day HOP ~ Twitter

Hump Dayyyy HOPIt’s good to chat with you again!!  I have been busy the last week traveling, meeting some GREAT people, and enjoying the first couple days of summer break with my girl!!  I’m working on some great posts for the next few days, but before those go up, I thought it’d be great to use this week’s Hump day HOP to connect with some new people on Twitter!! Leave a link to your twitter account below and then be sure to check back here later today for a fun Father’s Day idea!!

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Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce ~ Recipe

WMW Strawberry Rhubarb SauceI don’t know about you, but the warmer temps and the bright sunshine make me want to start whipping up my favorite summer recipes!!  I have been a lover of rhubarb for as long as I can remember, so I planted a plant of my own a few years ago.  If you know rhubarb, you know it grows pretty quickly, but I didn’t expect what I saw last week………..

WMW Rhubarb sauce collageYep, that’s my plant standing almost as tall as my 8 year old daughter!! :)  I’ll get to pie and bread in the coming weeks, but I absolutely LOVE strawberry rhubarb sauce so that was first on my list!!

My recipe is fairly easy and you can feel free to modify it as you see fit.  I like to make a batch that will leave me with some in the freezer or enough to give away, so I used that entire plant!!  I washed and chopped the rhubarb and did the same with my strawberries. I had some fresh berries on hand, but not enough for the entire batch, so I actually mixed some frozen in and it turned out just like it always does.  AMAZING!!!

Once your fruit is ready to go, you can add it to the water and sugar in the pot, give it a quick stir, cover, and let cook over medium heat!  I like to just keep an eye on my sauce so that it doesn’t boil over.  It’s also a good idea to give it a stir every once in a while.  I’d say I cook it for about 20 minutes and then mash it with a potato masher.  From there,  I cook for another five minutes, remove from heat, and VOILA!!

We love our sauce over angel food cake and vanilla frozen yogurt, but you can get creative and add it to just about anything that is worthy of a yummy topping!!  Feel free to come back here to share your favorite way to enjoy this sauce so we can all try it, too!!  In the mean time though, ENJOY!! :)

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce ~
10 cups chopped rhubarb
7 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
3 cups water
1 cup sugar

 

 

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Hump Day HOP ~ Facebook

Hump Dayyyy HOP

It’s been a while since I’ve posted my Hump Day HOP, but I promise it’s back on my priority list!  I love linking up with fellow bloggers and today we will be linking up through Facebook!!  It’s super simple to leave your link below and a great way to support each other!!

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Monday’s Mantra

#MM#24complain or rejoice

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Thankful Heart Thursday ~ Kisses

Thankful Heart Thursday ShellSome Thursdays, I have a lot of words to share to express my thankfulness on a particular topic, and sometimes words aren’t especially needed.  Today’s one of those days.  I am thankful, plain and simple, for KISSES!!  Depending on the person and the type of kiss, you will feel a host of emotions, but one thing is for sure…………you will feel LOVED!

So, for today, I am thankful for all of the many kisses that have been laid upon me in my 34 years and for all of the kisses I have planted on my loved ones!!  I might even love giving them more than I like receiving them, so, don’t worry.  I’ll keep ‘em comin’!! :)

Kisses collage

Who is it that wears your favorite set of lips??  Give a shout out to them in the comments below with a little bit of thankfulness and you’ll be entered into my monthly Thankful Heart Thursday giveaway!!  It always pays to be thankful!!

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Super Scrumptious Quinoa Cakes ~ Recipe

Super Scrumptious Quinoa CakesI feel that I must warn you here.  After you make and serve this meal, you and your family are going to fall madly in love with me!! ;)  Seriously, though, it is so easy, so yummy, and so nutritious, too!!  You can serve these quinoa cakes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and it even tastes great as leftovers.

If you’re not familiar with quinoa, let me introduce you.  It’s a whole grain that’s as easy to prepare as rice, but has so many more nutrients and health benefits.  It is an amazing source of protein, fiber, amino acids, b vitamins, and iron, to name a few.  You should be able to find it in your grocery or health food stores, but if you’re an Amazon shopper like me, it’s even easier!!  Click here to view and order the brand that we use and love.  It’s a two pound bag, and is fairly inexpensive given how long it will last you!!  OK, now on to the recipe!! :) Quinoa cakes ingredients

Remember above when I said this was super easy??  I wasn’t lying!!  You’ll start by preparing the quinoa according to package directions.  While it is cooking, grate the smoked gouda, chop the onion, and get your pan and oil ready.  Once the quinoa is cooked and cooled a bit, you’ll add the cheese, egg, onion, and pepper.  Mix well and allow the ingredients to get to know each other for about five minutes.  While that’s happening, you can heat your oil in the pan over medium heat.  I like to use garlic infused oil for added flavor, but that is completely up to you!  Now, one by one, you’ll form small palms(roughly 1/4 cup) of the quinoa mixture into patties and drop them into the pan. Cook each side for about five minutes or until they’re at your desired crispiness.  Remove each batch from the pan and set aside while you make the rest.

From here, it’s up to you and your creative genius!  We absolutely LOVE to place them atop some large pieces of romaine, drizzle with balsamic vinegar oil, and enjoy.  It’s a tasty meal that leaves you feeling satisfied and really good about what you just put in your body!!  ENJOY!! :)

Super Scrumptious Quinoa Cakes ~
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 heaping palms smoked gouda
1 small onion(chopped)
3 spoons flour
1 egg lightly beaten
2-3 pours extra virgin olive oil(or garlic oil)
fresh ground black pepper

*Cooked quinoa keeps really well in the fridge, so you could easily make the quinoa days ahead and pull it out when you’re ready to mix your ingredients for the meal.  Even easier!! :)

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