The Life of Jennifer Dawn

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

5 No-fuss Desserts & Weekly Link Party

Are you looking for a decadent dessert that is simple and easy to make? Each one of the desserts in this collection is a no-fuss solution to summer entertaining.  Make one of these and you'll have guests thinking you spent hours in the kitchen. You'll know better, though. (wink, wink) Summertime should be all about simple. From flavorful parfaits to enticing treats, any one of these would look stunning offered up on a cake stand or serving tray! Which do you think your friends and family wouldn't be able to pass up? Be sure to pin this post, so you can eventually make them all!
1. Key Lime Pie Ice Cream Parfaits / Live, Love, Texas
Key Lime desserts are perfect for summer! And what's better to cool off with on a hot summer day than an ice cream parfait?

2. S'mores Parfaits / Live, Love, Texas
It just wouldn't feel like summer with s'mores. This treat has all the flavors of the classic treat in the form of a decadent parfait!

3. Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cookies / Brooklyn Farm Girl
These cookies are bursting with the classic flavor combination of chocolate and peanut butter, but they also hold another little secret. They're packed with protein!

4. Chocolate Confetti Bars / Simply Stacie
Wow! These chocolate bars are stunning! And they only require a few ingredients to make.

5. Homemade Samoas / From Playdates to Parties
Samoas have always been a favorite of mine. With this recipe, you can make the beloved chocolate and caramel cookie from scratch. Does anyone else feel like homemade is better? I sure do! And your guests will, too!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Printable: Back to School BINGO Checklist

That time of year has come again! It's time to start planning and preparing for the kids to go back to school. Even as a homeschool family there's so much for us to do to get ready. As most of you know who have followed along for awhile, I left being a public school teacher behind to care for and teach my own children. We are our own little class, and I'm in the midst of making preparations for another school year of taking on the role of both mom and teacher. There's a ton on the to do list, but at least I have some of the snacks taken care of. And we've come up with a fun way to get the rest of the tasks completed with this Printable Back To School Bingo Checklist.
Back to School Time!
Truth be told, the start of a new school year causes both a sense of dread and excitement for me. The lazy, care-free days of summer always seem so fleeting. There are days when I never want the magic of summer to end. The beginning of another school year comes bursting in shiny and new, though. It’s brimming with fresh adventures and opportunities. Time marches on and here we are!

Maybe it's the teacher in me, but one of my favorite things to do at the beginning of a new school year is to shop for “back to school" supplies. A brand new box of crayons, new books, and freshly sharpened pencils make me a little bit giddy. Anyone else?

Not all of the preparations have me as excited, though. Being a parent is a full-time job in itself. When you add in all the tasks that come with getting the kids ready to start another school year, the pressures and stress can add up quickly...

Monday, July 24, 2017

Pulled Pork Stuffed Peppers

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #VeggieSummerGrilling #CollectiveBias

How is it that my husband and I managed to go almost 10 years into our marriage before buying a grill? My mother--who loves to cook on hers--has asked that question several times. She counts a grill as a basic household appliance. We just bought our first one this summer, though. And you know what? I wish we'd made this purchase a decade ago because it's been such a fun way to cook delicious meals for our family during the hot months of summer. Today I'm sharing my most recent grilled recipe--Pulled Pork Stuffed Peppers!
Made with fresh bell peppers from our garden and the NEW MorningStar Farms® Veggie Pulled Pork, they're an easy and delicious dish to make. Serve them as a stand-alone meal or with burgers like the MorningStar Farms® Spicy Black Bean Burgers we served with ours for dinner the other night.
We have a garden that is bursting with delicious vegetables that we've been harvesting and enjoying. Our pepper plants have done especially well. I needed something delicious to make with them, so Barbecue Pulled Pork Stuffed Peppers it was! We Southerners sure do love our barbecues! 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Muffin Recipes & Weekly Link Party

There is something so comforting about enjoying a batch of homemade muffins warm from the oven. They're a quick and easy treat to enjoy for breakfast, brunch, snack time, or anytime in between! From classic blueberry to a few recipes with a healthy twist, there's sure to be one from this collection that your family will love! Get your morning off to a great start with this tasty round-up of muffin recipes! The hardest part will be deciding which to try first.
1. Healthy Coffee Cake Muffins / To Simply Inspire
These muffins look amazing! And with those cinnamon crumbles on top, I bet they taste just as good as they look.

2. Blueberry Banana Muffins / A Sprinkle of Joy
With a streusel topping, these muffins are sure to get your morning off to a delicious start!

3. Homemade Blueberry Muffins / The Life of Jennifer Dawn
Made with fresh blueberries and a slight sugar crunch on top, these are sure to become a family favorite!

4. Double Chocolate Chip Muffins / The Life of Jennifer Dawn
These chocolate muffins might seem decadent, but they have a few "secret" ingredients that keep them on the healthy side. Shhh! No need for the kids to know. {wink, wink}

5. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins / The Life of Jennifer Dawn
Love the flavor of pumpkin spice? Then these muffins are for you! And the rich cream cheese filling skyrockets them to an even higher level of deliciousness.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ocean-Themed Activities for Kids & Weekly Link Party

We aren't taking a trip to the beach this year, but that doesn't mean a little of the ocean can't come to us. Here are several ocean-themed activities that are perfect for summer. Arts and crafts, sensory activities, and printables are all present in this splashingly fun round-up! Which would your kids enjoy?
1. Painted Rock Fish / A Little Pinch of Perfect
Grab out those paintbrushes and paint! This fun activity is a new twist on pet rocks.

2. Ocean Animal Suncatchers / A Little Pinch of Perfect
This is such a fun craft, and the animal silhouettes are adorable. Be sure to click on over to grab your copy of the pattern for those cute ocean animals.

3. DIY Coral Reef Water Table / Living Montessori Now
What an awesome sensory activity! I could see this one providing hours of fun.

4. Ocean Animal Clip Cars / A Little Pinch of Perfect
These are a great way for kids to practice literacy skills like letter recognition and beginning sounds. Oh, and just look at how cute they are!

5. Beach I Spy Graphing Printable / Living Life and Learning
It's a game of I Spy and graphing all in one beach-themed printable! This site is filled with quality printables for kids, so you'll definitely want to pay them a visit.

6. Sand Dough / The Life of Jennifer Dawn
The texture of this sensory dough makes it a fun break from traditionally soft play doughs. This one gets a little messy, so you'll want to take it outside.

7. Ocean Jell-O / The Life of Jennifer Dawn (A blast from the past!)
This one is from four years ago, and the pictures aren't great. The activity is super fun and simple, so I thought I'd reshare. Enjoy!

P.S. Choosing features this week was a challenge. There were so many amazing posts. I'll be sharing some of my other favorites on Facebook. If you aren't following me over there, this is a great time to start.