Folding clothes is one of my least favorite chores. Trying to fold a shirt is right up there with trying to fold a fitted sheet in difficulty for me! I find myself watching with envy at the way department store employees so easily fold knit shirts and t-shirts (those GAP employees are masters!).
My friend, Holli, sent me this video and I knew had to share it for all those people who might feel the same way as I do! So sit back and be amazed as the great Dave Hax shows you how to fold a shirt in less than 2 seconds!
(I now have a new skill to practice this summer!)
Mango is a perfect summertime fruit. Pair it with Avocado and you have a tropical salsa that is a perfect pairing with fish or chicken (or even just chips!). This recipe is even better when left to sit overnight in the fridge!
- 1 ripe Hass Avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
- 1 mango, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 lime, juiced
- splash of rice wine vinegar
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 small red pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh, chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon (more or less) chopped jalapeño pepper (canned is just fine!)
- salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl; mix thoroughly. Enjoy!
The “Get Your Greens” Smoothie is the perfect way to incorporate stealth nutrition into your diet (and your kids’!). Kale and spinach are “hidden” in plain sight, and are masked by the flavors of mango, pineapple, and banana. You can name this smoothie whatever you want to call it to get your kids to eat it!
Suggestion: Using baby spinach and baby kale greens adds a little sweeter flavor to the smoothie.
- 1 cup ice
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup pineapple
- 1 whole, fresh mango peeled and cubed (or 1 cup frozen)
- 1 handful of fresh washed spinach
- 1 handful fresh washed kale
- 1 cup apple juice
- splash or two of almond milk
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (optional)
Feel free to add flax seed or other ingredients to add your own take on this smoothie!
Add all ingredients into blender (add ice first). Blend until smoothie is the consistency you want. Enjoy!
If you are looking for the OXO Mango Splitter, Click Here: OXO Good Grips Mango Splitter
Simple Solutions Diva is looking for simple solutions to make hitting the beach or enjoying the summer easier! Maybe you found the answer to a typical beach or summer problem. Share it with Simple Solutions Diva! Four great solutions will be featured in a future Simple Solutions Diva post, plus those chosen will receive a Simple Summer Solutions Prize Package with two of MY favorite summer solutions!
My Featured Summer Solutions:
Simple Solution: Turtlebacks All Terrain Beverage Holder
Simple Solution: Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen
How to submit your entry:
- Deadline for entries is Thursday, June 27, 2013.
- Subscribe to SimpleSolutionsDiva.com using the “Subscribe” section on the upper right side of the page. If you have already subscribed, you are one step ahead!! (Entries cannot be considered without email subscription, so please make sure you use the same email address to subscribe with, as well as submit from!)
- Submit your simple summer idea/solution to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, June 27, 2013. Describe your Summer Challenge and how your solution works. Feel free to include photos (as long as you don’t mind me sharing the photos!).
- Please be sure to include your contact information in your email!
- By submitting your idea to Simple Solutions Diva, you agree to have your name and idea posted on our website, with no compensation to be provided by SimpleSolutionsDiva.com LLC, now and into the future.
- Four (4) Winners will be selected and featured in a future “Summer Time Simple Solutions” Posting. Each winner will be contacted prior to the post and will be sent a Simple Summer Solutions Prize Package, featuring a Turtlebacks Beverage Holder and a Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen.
Thank you for submitting your ideas to Simple Solutions Diva!
Combine the best of light, summer eating – Salads and Grilled Meats — and you have this wonderful recipe from BuffyandGeorge.com! (GREAT website with some wonderful recipes!)
This salad makes a perfect cold meal in the summer, AND you get to keep the kitchen cool in the summer! (Well, except for the bacon that you cook in the house! But that doesn’t count!)
Quick Cooking TIp: Pound the chicken breasts to about 3/4 inch thickness for even grilling and faster cooking time.
- 5 oz package of mixed salad greens
- 2-4 chicken breasts (depends on how hungry you are)
- 6 pieces of bacon, fully cooked
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- ½ English cucumber, sliced in half moons
- ½ cup mixed nuts and seeds (cashews, sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds & sunflower seeds)
- zest and juice of one lime
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder (more if you like it hot)
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- pinch of salt and pepper
- ½ cup olive oil
- Pound the chicken breasts with a meat mallet so that they are a more uniform thickness. Lightly coat the chicken with a little vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on the grill until cooked through.
- Whisk the lime juice and zest, vinegar, mustard, chipotle powder, honey, salt and pepper together in a glass bowl or measuring cup. Slowly add the olive oil while whisking constantly until the dressing is fully emulsified. You could also add everything to a mason jar and shake vigorously until mixed.
- Cut the cooked chicken and bacon into bite sized pieces. Toss the salad greens with half the vinaigrette (use more if you like a lot of dressing). Serve the dressed salad topped with chicken, sliced strawberries, cucumber, bacon and smattering of nuts & seeds.
I’M BORED! Those dreaded words that make any strong mother or father drop to their knees and scream, “What on earth can I do to keep them entertained?!” If this kind of describes you and your summer with the kids, then this topic is for you! I have pulled together some great summer entertainment ideas that will help keep your kids entertained (at least for a little while!).
I have included credit and links to websites where I found some of these ideas. I encourage you to visit the sites – they are wonderful and worth the visit!
Homemade Ice Cream in a Baggie! My girls did this yummy project in elementary school, and it is a surefire winner in entertaining the kids! This project is great for older and younger children alike (even us moms and dads!). Recipe credit goes to OverTheBigMoon.com- Adorable website with great craft ideas and more!
- Half and Half
- gallon Ziploc baggies
- quart Ziploc baggies
- Rock salt
For each serving you need 1 cup of half and half, 2 Tbsp. sugar, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Pour ingredients into a quart bag and seal. (Blogger did about 3/4 cup half and half and 1/4 cup whipping cream. She said, “the whipping cream made it really smooth and creamy. Do not use all whipping cream though because it kind of whips up and doesn’t freeze as well.”)
Fill a gallon Ziploc bag a little less than half way up with ice and then add 1/2 cup rock salt and the quart baggie with the ice cream ingredients. Then shake it! It takes about 5 minutes to get it a really thick consistency. (Best of all, the kids will be exhausted by the time it reaches the right consistancy!) Once is it done, you can add chopped fresh fruit to make it a little extra special.
When everyone has enjoyed their treats, ask the kids how they think it became frozen. Challenge them to research the answer online. A teachable moment!
Crafty Orange Bird Feeders. Most kids are naturally drawn to any project that helps animals. And the reward of creating a bird feeder that attracts beautiful, colorful birds into your yard is a real treat, plus it demonstrates the immediate benefit of the project. This idea comes from SheriSilver.com, a website full of crafty ideas!
(4) pieces of twine, yarn or string, cut into 24? lengths
With a sharp knife, cut the orange in half – scoop out the flesh. Pierce 4 small holes on opposite sides, about 1/2? from the top edge of each half . Thread one piece of twine through a hole, and out the opposite end. Repeat with the second piece of twine in the remaining holes (you’ll have an “X”). Gather the ends together and tie in a knot. Repeat with the other half. Fill with bird seed and hang from sturdy branches outside.
Family and Friend Dog Show! Gather together the sociable dogs of family and friends, a few props (you can use chairs, skateboard ramps or the slide in the backyard), and lots of treats, and you have the makings of a great dog show!
Let the kids take the dogs into the backyard and have them “train” the dogs to run an obstacle course, perform tricks, or just sit and look cute. The kids get to be creative with their pups, and the dogs get some much loved attention!
The Mini Movie Challenge! Encourage those budding movie directors with the Mini-Movie Challenge Using Vine. Vine is an application for your iPhone, iTouch, or iPad, that allows you to create short (6 seconds), looping videos. I watched my teenager and her friend spend over an hour creating their perfect movie – it had drama, humor, and a murder mystery all in 6 seconds. Best of all, you can share the movies with family and friends!
For the younger “directors”, you might want to give them a theme to start from. For the older kids, let them do it freestyle, and just step back and let the creativity flow!
For a Challenge – Try a challenge like the international, 48 Hour Film Project: Break them up into teams. All teams must incorporate the same prop and the same phrase into their movie. You’ll be surprised how different each film will be!
NightTime Ring Toss: This simple and inexpensive idea is sure to keep the kids entertained in the evening hours. Two glow-in-the-dark bracelets, attached together with the connectors (included in packages) and reinforced with tape, make perfect rings for ring toss! Place two wooden poles approximately 10 feet apart, and you have a simple ring toss pit! To make things a little easier, paint the wooden poles with glow-in-the-dark paint.
You can find packages of glow-in-the-dark bracelets CHEAP at places like Hobby Lobby, The Dollar Store, Target, Oriental Trading Company. (15 bracelets/$1.00)
Check out MommaDidIt.Blogspot.com to see this idea, plus many more great, nighttime activities!!
For more great summertime activities, I recommend checking out a few Pinterest Boards:
Summer Board: Cool summer ideas for decorating, food, games, and more, compiled by Megan Mathis.
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 4 eggs, slightly beaten
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup steamed broccoli (optional – use whatever veggie you like)
- 1/2 cup diced ham (optional)
- 1 frozen deep dish, 9 ” pie shell
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pie shell on a cookie sheet covered with tin foil (to protect the cookie sheet from overflow).
In a medium bowl, mix together shredded cheese and flour, tossing to coat the cheese with flour. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix beaten eggs, milk, salt and pepper (to taste). Add the broccoli and ham to this egg mixture; mix well. Add the cheese and gently mix together.
Pour into the pie shell. Make sure to disperse “chunky” ingredients evenly throughout the pie shell. Place in oven for 55-60 minutes until center is set.
Who likes to heat up the kitchen in the summer? Not many people! This yummy dessert, from Real Simple Magazine, is perfect for summer because it requires no baking of the cake, because you use pre-made pound cake! Toast the coconut the day before and you are done with the oven – keep the kitchen cool this summer! This is so simple!
- 1/4 cup flaked sweetened coconut
- 1 cup heavy (or whipping) cream, whipped to a soft peak
- 2 pound cakes (such as Sara Lee), about 11 ounces each
- 2 cups Vanilla Pudding (prepared)
Preheat oven to 350° F. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and toast in oven until golden, about 10 minutes, shaking the tray once about halfway through the cooking time. Remove and let cool.
Not everyone is handy with Do-It-Yourself projects, but if you are interested in how to do a few simple things around the house or apartment, check out The HandyWomanDIY.com.
Great website with videos that take you through some simple DIY repair projects for the home. This is the perfect website for a little “coaching,” whether you are an independent woman looking to learn or a manly man just needing a little reminder on how to handle a hammer!
Click on image below to visit The Handy Woman DIY!
Fond memories of the family gathering around the camp fire, roasting hot dogs over the fire, telling stories sure to give you a chill — even in the summer weather! Summer campouts, whether in the Big Woods or the Big Backyard, makes fun for everyone. But it takes work and planning, especially when it comes to meal planning.
Simple Solutions Diva has gathered together some great camping recipes and ideas that, hopefully, will make things easier for the meal planner!
Pancakes on the Road- Everyone loves pancakes, but storing all the ingredients for camping can take up a lot of space! Try this tip: Make your pancake batter as the recipe states. Then pour all the batter into a large ziploc bag and freeze! Once you are ready to use it, take it out of the freezer to thaw, snip off a corner of the bag, and you have quick & mess free pancake mix! It’s a great way to use up a few cups of milk before it expires!
Breakfast In A Bag- Line the bottom of paper bag with bacon. Make sure to cover all of the paper and slightly up the sides, too. Crack egg(s) and drop on top of the bacon. Fold the top of the bag over a couple of times. Put the bag on the grate over the campfire. The eggs are done when the grease from the bacon is about half way up the side of the bag. (I have NEVER tried this, but I thought it was clever!)
Last Day Breakfast Plan- Super Camper, Rita Manyette, (Camping Enthusiast and good friend of Simple Solutions Diva!) says get creative for your last breakfast at your campsite. Use up leftovers for your breakfast so you don’t have to lug it home. Take the odd hot dog or hamburger bun and use it for French Toast (this also applies to the last of the bread!). The buns really soak up the egg. She also uses up the last of the flavored creamer her husband brings along on the trip as the milk in the French Toast. It adds a great flavor to the French Toast.
Marinade & Freeze Your Meats. LOVE this great tip from EchoesOfLaughter.com: Switch it up from the ususal hot dogs, hamburgers and beans-simply marinate meat/steak at home, toss in the freezer, and take on your trip for more upscale meals! Just take the meat out of the cooler to thaw on the morning of the day you plan to serve it. For tasty marinade recipes, Click Here!
“Containerize” Condiments-Save yourself time & money by packing small containers of condiments made up from the bigger sizes you already have in your fridge. This saves you from having to buy small sizes of condiments…saving you money. The smaller sized containers from home also fit into a cooler better. I like these little Tupperware containers. This is another great tip from EchoesOfLaughter.com.
Camp Cooker (also know as Pie Irons) - Easy way to make individual meals, whether it is grilled, fried, baked, or toasted! Kids can use these to be creative and make their own meals. Be sure to look for cast iron types, because they will ensure uniform cooking. Click to find Coghlan’s Cast Iron Camp Cooker.
Planning and Organizing-For more great tips for organizing and preparing for your camping trip, plus super recipes, visit EchoesOfLaughter.com.