Love, Juliebug
Summer is officially here! The kids are going to be home much more now, and the last thing you want to hear are those all-too familiar words: “I’m bored”. A child’s boredom is too often easily quelled by letting them play with a tablet or video games, but it’s important to help them stay active, entertained, and enjoying the wonderful summer weather.

Plant a Garden
One of the easiest ways to keep your kids busy during the summer is to help them plant and tend to a garden. It is something that they can return to and keep up with over the entire summer, and they will love seeing the plants that they helped nurture and grow themselves. Since they aren’t in school, an activity that allows them to learn new skills will keeps their brains active, and it will give them a green thumb that they can look forward to using every summer. If they plant a vegetable garden, they will be excited to enjoy delicious food that sprouted in their own backyard thanks to their help.

Train Little Chefs
Summer is marked with graduation parties, family reunions, 4th of July celebrations, and backyard barbecues, so when it comes to this season, there is going to be lots of food to enjoy. Let the kids take part in making their own summer snacks and treats for another activity that will keep them occupied but also help them learn new skills that they can apply as they grow up! Healthy wraps and sandwiches (made with those homegrown vegetables) and fruit salads are easy to make, and chips with homemade salsa or guacamole is something simple to prepare and enjoy.  They can also cool off with homemade popsicles for dessert, or just as a snack on a hot and sunny day!

Turn a Rainy Day into a Reel Good Time
Throughout the summer you will want to get the kids outside as often as possible, but some days are going to be rainy and gloomy. When stuck indoors, use the opportunity to set up a fun movie day for the kids! Pop some of their favorite popcorn, let them cozy up with pillows and blankets, pop in a favorite DVD and let them enjoy a relaxing pajamas day. If you want to have reassurance that they have access to wholesome and Christian content, Pure Flix offers a large variety of movies, shows, and educational programming. If they want to “binge” safely on a rainy day, look no further!

Garage Sale

A creative way to keep kids busy is to plan a big family garage sale later in the summer. The kids can spend the summer months deciding what toys and clothes they aren’t using anymore and might want to sell to get rid of any clutter they have around the house! When the garage sale day comes, the kids can participate in a garage sale staple if they want and can sell refreshing lemonade to customers. When they start to make money from their item sales, they will feel like little entrepreneurs!
Music has long been a guilty pleasure of mine. I especially love discovering new singer/songwriters on Youtube. There is an abundance of wonderful musicians but occasionally you find ones that you cannot get out of your head. Here is one of my favorites, Orla Gartland. She posts both covers and originals. This song is her most recent called 'I Go Crazy'. Please enjoy and show her love by clicking through to Youtube and subscribing to her channel!

I Feel Pretty is a self-help book disguised as a comedy film. Okay, not really but it is a comedy with a very good message. The movie which released in theaters in April 2018 is filled with an all-star comedic cast including Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Rory Scovel, Busy Philipps, Aidy Bryant, Emily Ratajkowski and Naomi Campbell.

An ordinary woman who struggles with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy on a daily basis wakes from a fall believing she is suddenly the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet.

I know most women struggle with insecurities about themselves and the desire to change or be "more beautiful" but I really wish that it were possible that all of us would have the belief in ourselves that we are beautiful exactly as we are and that our improvements should not be directed in the area of beauty on the outside but on the inside. Cheesy? Yes, I'm sure it is but I still wish it were so.

I Feel Pretty releases on Digital July 3 and on Blu-ray & DVD July 17. Be sure to get a copy and have a fun girl's night in with your closest gal pals!

One thing I loved about Wyoming was that you never knew what type of weather you'd have when you woke up. It could be snowy, windy, rainy, sunny, or a combo of the above. And that's not even mentioning freezing snow or hail. Arizona is more stable. Sun, sun, and more sun is usually in the forecast unless it's Monsoon season. So, I have to say days like today are extremely welcome to me.

I sat on the bed with no other noise except the sound of water splish-splashing outside. The window was open and the cool air wafted in regularly. In short, it was perfect napping weather. It was drizzly all day long and I loved every moment. Well, not so much the ones where I begged the dog to go to the bathroom outside but overall I loved the day.
The other day I was sitting there staring down a package of chicken breasts willing them to cook themselves. I'm kidding, kind of. But, you know food ruts are real and sometimes this momma just doesn't want to make the same thing one more time. So, I came up with this idea to combine Spinach Artichoke Dip with Chicken.

Keto Chicken Spinach Artichoke Dip Casserole

8 servings/3 net carbs per serving

1 lb chicken breast, diced
12 oz marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
10 oz chopped spinach
1 c. diced zucchini
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayo
8 oz cream cheese
1 c. mozzarella (+more to sprinkle on top)
1/4 c. parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cook chicken until browned on all sides but not completely cooked through. 
  • Cook spinach in microwave until softened then squeeze all juice out.
  • Add chicken, spinach, chopped artichoke hearts, and zucchini to a 9x13 pan. 
  • Soften cream cheese then add with mayo, sour cream,parmesan,  and mozzarella to a bowl. Mix until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Combine with the chicken mixture. 
  • Sprinkle more mozzarella on top before baking. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until done.

This is a creamy, filling meal. If you like Spinach Artichoke Dip you will love this one. We certainly did! The numbers change depending on the ingredient brands you use and the amount of mozzarella you put on the top. My numbers are below.

Per Serving
Calories 360
Fat 28 g
Total Carb 4 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 23 g

With New Year 2018 just behind us, some of you might be thinking about resolutions. Most people resolve to stop doing something like smoking or start working out. I've been there. Well, I don't smoke but I mean resolving to make changes. There is nothing wrong with that. Heck, I made the resolution in October to change the way I was eating and break food addiction using the Ketogenic way of eating. With God's strength, I am succeeding at this goal.

What makes me nervous about New Year's resolutions specifically is the fact that most people will not stick with them. I saw a statistic recently that said only 8% of people who make a New Year's resolution will still be sticking with it by the end of the year. Eight freaking percent. So, it made me wonder. Why do people give up on eating healthier? Why have I failed in the past?

1. Not prepping for life.

Huh? How do you prep for life anyway? Well, what I mean by this is thinking ahead for what could or will be happening. I am very deliberate now in making sure I plan to eat well. If I am doing something I plan out what I might be able to eat. If there's nothing, I either eat beforehand or bring something with me. It takes more thought but it saves me every time.

2. Haven't dealt with the past.

We all have some sort of baggage from our past. Some of us, have more than others. I truly believe that the pain we've experienced can be a huge blessing because it helps us help others. That being said, we need to deal with the things that try to destroy us or we will never be in a healthy place. I truly recommend Celebrate Recovery, if you have one near you. It sounds scary but it's not just for people with addictions to drugs or alcohol. It's for any type of struggle or hang up.

3. No support team.

If you can't find support in your family or friends, make some new friends! Find a support group or even a Facebook support group. Even though I have tons of support in my family or friends, I'm part of several on Facebook including one specifically for Keto-ers. It is so helpful!

4. Never putting yourself on the to-do list.

I wouldn't say "put yourself first" because I think that attitude can be selfish and destructive. I would say, don't forget about yourself. You have value. You matter too. Take the time to take care of yourself.

5. Being afraid of change.

Life is change. That's what they say but change can be scary. The unknown has always made me tremble a bit. I struggle with being a control freak if you can't tell. It's stressful and I don't want to live the rest of my life that way. So, I had to make a conscious decision to step outside of what I'm comfortable with and let it happen for my own good.

I say all this not to discourage you but to spur you on toward reaching your goals. You can do it!

When I first saw the trailer for this movie I just knew our daughter would adore it. Leap! is all about following your dreams and becoming who you're meant to be.

I mean, right? Doesn't it look so exciting and adventurous? And it turns out, I was right. It is one of her (and our) favorite movies of the year. Featuring all-star voice talent led by Elle Fanning (Maleficent), alongside Nat Wolff (The Fault in Our Stars) and Maddie Ziegler (The Book of Henry), with Mel Brooks (Spaceballs), featuring Carly Rae Jepsen (singer-songwriter of the hit song “Call Me Maybe”) and Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”), Leap! is a colorful and imaginative story about an orphan girl who is determined to follow her dream of becoming a ballerina. Filled with irresistible original music, Leap! features the hit track “Cut to the Feeling.”

It is finally coming out on Digital HD November 7 and Blu-ray™, DVD, and On Demand November 21, just in time for your holiday gift giving!

Everyone loves a great Christmas party and the best part about it is gathering together with your friends, family and even co-workers. So, when there is a gift exchange involved it is much less stressful and a lot more fun when you can do something like White Elephant, Dirty Santa, or whatever your party-hosts call the gift exchange.
The first place I hit up when looking for a great budget-friendly gift exchange item is my local Goodwill store. By doing this you are lowering your carbon footprint, supporting your local economy, saving money, and giving to charity all at the same time! Plus – Goodwill’s mission is to maximize the value of our donations and purchases to support and grow programs that result in significant social impact for your community members in need of work.
And if you’re in a place that doesn’t have a local Goodwill (I think that is few and far between)  they have an auction site that features a well-curated collection of designer handbags, jewelry, musical instrument, vintage housewares, etc. 
It is not uncommon for people to share slightly used, unique and fun gifts for this type of gift-exchange. Get creative – and if you can’t find the perfect gift at your local Goodwill store, find a variety of items you can use to DIY a fun gift!
Tips to start you on your way:
Go early and go often – If you know you have a gift exchange coming up and it isn’t a last minute shopping trip, going early and often will give you the pick of the best items on the shelves.
Shop the whole store – don’t go in with one thing and mind and skip the rest of the store. You never know what gems might be in another section.
Make your own wrapping paper – while you are out shopping, look for some great scraps or different types of paper that you could use to have a fun and creatively wrapped gift.
Here are some budget-friendly ideas for the gift giving season:
Costume Jewelry – this can be a lot of fun. Usually you can find a literal “mixed bag” of great random jewelry pieces. Pick out the best or gift the whole bag!
Books and Records – contrary to popular belief, lots of people still love paper and vinyl. You can find a treasure trove of these at Goodwill.
Gift baskets – you can not only find a really fun variety of baskets, bins, or other items that would be fun to put gifts in, you can find other nifty stuff to fill that basket up while you’re there.
Framed or Canvas art and picture frames– listen, Goodwill is one of my favorite places to find unique items to hang on my wall. But not only that, you can find picture frames that are still in the packaging and use them as they are or find a fun DIY to mix and match.
Matching hostess sets – if you think that you won’t find matching kitchen items at Goodwill, you’re sadly mistaken. You can find all kinds of great trays, serving platers, punch bowl sets and other items that would be a fun hostess gift. If you can’t find something that matches, use a little chalkboard paint to really make it unique.
Collectively, over 313,000 people in the United States and Canada connected with jobs or earned employment using Goodwill organizations’ career services programs this past year. And more than that - tens of millions access the Goodwill education, training, and online learning services that Goodwill offers to strengthen their job training skills. As a non-profit, they are dedicated to helping create jobs and providing on-the-job training for many who would find employment opportunities scarce without Goodwill’s help.
When I’m able to find a steal and save money, check off my holiday shopping list, and know I’m supporting a good cause, it’s a total win/win/win situation. Find a Goodwill store near you at and help create new jobs in your local community while saving this holiday season. You can share your great holiday finds with the hashtag #ShopGoodwill!

Being Keto I find my sweet tooth has all but disappeared. It's a miracle! However, I've come to see that being prepared to overcome possible temptation is extremely important. So, today I'm sharing some Keto Christmas treats for you all. I hope you enjoy them!

Keto Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Balls from Keto Size Me

Low Carb Classic Gingerbread Men from All Day I Dream About Food

Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars from Briana Thomas

Keto Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bites by Hey Keto Mama

Low Carb Thin Mint Truffles from All Day I Dream About Food

Walnut Cookies from Keto Connect

Cookie Cutouts from Keto Adapted

2 Ingredient Fudge from My Montana Kitchen

Pecan Snowball Cookies from Sugar Free Mom

Speculoos (Biscoff Cookies) from Gnom Gnom

Now, tell me, if you had these in tow would you eat non-Keto sweet treats that would make you feel horrible? I think not. They all look amazing, right? Which ones look most scrumptious to you?

Below are some very easy ways to make sure your menu is healthy and humane. Which tip do you think would be easiest to integrate into your family?

Five Simple Ways to Eat a More Humane and Healthy Menu

I’ve had animals for as long as I can remember. They are family to me. Maybe you can relate to that. The message about animal cruelty and adopting a #ShelterPet is one that has gained ground in recent years, but the ASPCA is concerned with the welfare of farm animals as well.

Here are five simple ways to become a more aware and welfare-conscious consumer when shopping for your family’s groceries.

  1. Eat Seasonally - Eating foods in season means that you’re able to buy from a more local economy and avoid having your food ship from other countries. This means fresher foods picked at peak ripeness too!
  2. Shop Locally - CSA’s and local farmers’ markets help support local, often smaller scale, farmers and ranchers who are producing outside of the traditional factory-farm system. If you aren’t sure where to start, visit your local farmers’ market and start asking some question - this guide will get you started.  
  3. Conquer Labeling Confusion - Marketers create confusion with their flashy labels and clever catch-phrases. But unfortunately, sometimes they care more about finances than transparency. Words like “natural” or “humane” often don’t have any oversight to actually tell you as a consumer anything concrete. However, some phrases and labels do have regulations associated with their use, and that’s what you can start to look for as a savvy shopper. Here’s a guide to labeling to get you started.
  4. Be Careful to Minimize Waste - One of the ways we can treat the animals used for food respectfully and humanely is by making the most of the food we purchase. Purchase only what you know you’ll use and serve the right sized portions to avoid wasting what your family buys.
  5. Look for Certifications That Mean Something - Unlike marketing gimmicks there are certain certifications and awards that have true meaning. For example the USDA  Organic label shows that the produce grown (or fed to the animal) didn’t use banned pesticides. Others include Animal Welfare Approved or Certified Humane

See The Good Groceries Guide for more information about how our shopping habits impact the lives of those around us - animals included.

Find more resources for savvy shoppers at the ASCPA Shop With Your Heart website!

And don’t forget to enter to win some fun items from the ASPCA!

We have enjoyed all the Despicable Me movies and so we were super excited to see there was going to be a third installment. Steve Carrel's vocal performances in these movies have been amazing and hilarious. So, we are quite excited to announce that this fun movie is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital, and 4K Ultra HD! Just in time for holiday shopping right?

In the film, Gru teams up with his long-lost twin brother Dru in order to defeat a new enemy named Balthazar Bratt, a 1980s child actor who grows up to become a villain. Steve Carell, Miranda Cosgrove and Dana Gaier reprise their roles of Gru, Margo and Edith from the first two films and Julie Andrews returns as Marlena, Gru's mother from Despicable Me (2010). Kristen Wiig and Steve Coogan return from Despicable Me 2, while Trey Parker, Jenny Slate and Nev Scharrel (replacing Elsie Fisher as Agnes) join the cast.

Also, here are some fun printables to share with your kiddos!

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