Monday, May 27, 2013

Guest Blogger: Megan Lavin Shares Her Summer Fun & Cherry Cheesecake!

Is everyone as itchy for summer fun as I am? It seems like every time I log onto Facebook everyone is posting pictures of their kids last day of school and starting fun summery adventures! My oldest daughter doesn't finish school until June 12th! JUNE 12TH, YOU GUYS! It is killing me!

Please welcome Megan! She has some rockin' ideas for summer and my favorite part about them is that they can all be done on the fly. I end up getting a little ahead of myself trying to plan out activities that will take an entire day and extra planning. Then, when that falls through I feel stuck and have a hard time coming up with a back up plan on a whim. I need to remember to just embrace the old school fun!

She's also included one of her favorite summer foods! And let me tell looks ridiculous. It's already  on my list of things to try this week!

Don't forget to check out Megan at Megan&Claudy. She is absolutely adorable and her personality (as you'll see) shines through in her writing! Just click the pic and read on!

 5 Fabulous & Practically Free, Family-Friendly Summer Activities

 We've all been there. You see a commercial for a family vacation at this-or-that-land and start feeling like you're a lousy parent for not taking your children to an expensive theme park for the summer. Oodles of marketing dollars and professional actors have convinced us that having your children wear little black mouse ears, spending wads of money, and standing in line for hours is the ultimate way to bond as a family and enjoy our summertime.

 But shake away the shackles of commercialism and remember the joys of yesteryear. People had full, enjoyable summers before these parks were ever invented. They must have been doing something right, so let's see if we can bring them back.

 I've dug through the cobwebs of history to find five family pleasing ideas for you. These are all ways to have a magical summer right in your own backyard, and for practically FREE to boot.

 These five forgotten-about summer pastimes are sure to bring a smile to your child's face and to your wallet. Let's uncomplicate our summers and bring back these old classics that are sure to please. These activities are sure to be a summer hit, like a Carly Ray Jepsen song.

 1. Sidewalk chalk: This uber cheap arts and crafts supply can often be found at the dollar store, and will last for many uses. Help your kids explore their inner artist. This can be especially fun because they can draw to scale as long as you don't run out of sidewalk or driveway. It gets the kids outdoors and, you don't have to worry about markers or paint getting on your tables, chairs, walls, or their clothes. Anything that won't stain is always a plus! Get out there and trace yourselves, draw hopscotches, and help them create masterpieces.

 2. Running through the sprinklers: When you're a child you don't need fancy body slides or lazy rivers to cool off and have a blast. Simply turn on your sprinklers, or buy a simple attachment to go on your hose and let the kids run wild--which is what they want to do anyways. I still have found memories of doing this as a child, and your children will enjoy the simplicity of having their own water park in their backyard. And, I still think nothing the spa has to offer can ever compete with how relaxing laying and drip-drying on the warm sidewalk is.

 3. Taking advantage of local festivities: Even smaller towns almost always have a few festivities going on. Don't reinvent the wheel, just pack up your crew and go enjoy the productions. I like to visit my local news stations' community calendars, pay attention to fliers and I ask around a LOT in the summer. I'm always pleased to fill up our calendar with lots of community activities. Be sure to do this at the first of the summer so you don't let any slip by you. There's almost always a rodeo, a demolition derby, reading & activities at the local library, state fairs, summer day camps, farmers markets, and movies in the park...just to name a few! My son's current favorite is the splash pad. (You can insert the pic of him here...or not--it might make the post too long, or make it look unbalanced since I don't have pics for every item. Your call.)

 4. Jump rope & hula hooping: Most of the time we don't only want our kids to have fun, but we want them tuckered out. Help them move away from the TV and be more active. Simple aerobics like jump rope and hula hooping get them exercising without even knowing it. Have competitions or help them time themselves to keep them track of their progress. These can often be found cheaply at your local sporting stores, or even used.

 5. Local parks: Don't forget about those free jungle gyms down the street. Almost every city has one...and if you don't it might be time to move! One fun thing a friend of mine did was to try ever single park in her city. What a great idea! Her and her daughter were determined to find which one had "the best" slide. How fun to explore and have a different scenery every time. Don't overlook the value of monkey bars, swings and other fun equipment that is provided to you at no cost by your city. It may seem trite to us adults, but it never gets old for children. I sometimes have to drag myself to the park several times a week for my son, but when I see his smile and excitement I'm reminded it's worth it! (Again, you can put the pic of my son swinging...or not.)

 And once you've had a rip-roaring time actually PLAYING with your children (as opposed to paying for a roller coaster to entertain them) you will all have an appetite.

 Since you've just burned off some calories, we want to equal everything out so let's eat a dessert. And, an easy, only 6 ingredient no-bake dessert at that. It's a deliciously cool way to refresh you.

 Enter, my Grandma Egbert's Famous Cherry Cheesecake. Let's be honest. I know she didn't invent this, but she made it for just about every single family gathering, so now it bears her name. Once you taste this, you'll want to claim it as your own too.

Grandma Egbert's No Bake 6 Ingredient Cherry Cheesecake

What you will need:
  • 1 premade graham cracker crust
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 6 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 3/4 C powdered sugar
  • 8 oz. (small carton) whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form; set aside
  • Cream the cream cheese and powdered sugar
  • Fold in whipping cream into the cream cheese mixture
  • Add in vanilla
  • Beat just until it's all mixed (be careful not to over beat) and creamy and smooth
  • Pour into the pie shell and top with the cherry (or whatever you like) filling
  • Refrigerate for at least a few hours before devouring

And there you have it: two delicious recipes.  One for life and one for your tummy.
Here's to a happy and safe summer for all!

About Megan from MeganandClaudy

This former baby-hater, turned full-time mom is learning to enjoy her "new normal". Her son was recently diagnosed with a rare disease and 28 food allergies. Join her as she candidly and honestly chronicles their unique journey--both through life, and in the kitchen

Also check out her full bio here!

Feel free to e-mail me at if you'd like to be my next Guest Blogger!

1 comment :

  1. Summer and cheesecake go hand in hand at my house. And I love finding a recipe that looks simple but delicious. Thanks for sharing.