Skip to content

Tips for Taking Road Trips with Dogs + Coco’s Favorite Banana Cupcakes

2016 July 28
by Emily Hill

If you’re planning a road trip with your dog, here are a few tips to help ensure everyone arrives healthy and happy…or at least sane.

Tips for Taking Road Trips with Dogs + Dog-Friendly Banana Cupcakes Recipe

.

Disclosure: Post includes sponsored content for eBay. All thoughts, opinions & love for summer smoothies is mine.

.

Though we don’t have any road trips planned this summer, we have taken a couple from Utah to California with Coco and learned a lesson or two along the way. I’ve compiled those lessons with a few other important reminders into a mini travel guide for dog owners.

If Coco had her way, she’d stay with my parents instead of making the trek in the car!

To get the list of tips for traveling with dogs and Coco’s favorite recipe for banana cupcakes, CLICK HERE or on the image below.

Like the kid-friendly summer smoothies and tips for hosting kid-friendly barbecues, it’s another fun—and hopefully helpful—guide I’ve created over on the eBay.

I’ve written 60 guides so far and will write another 10 over the next couple months. You can check out the full list HERE. It includes quite a few book guides (my favorite) and more tips, tricks and secrets (most involving food of course).

.

Tips for Taking Road Trips with Dogs + Dog-Friendly Banana Cupcakes Recipe

.

Looking for more fun stuff? Try browsing my best of Is This Really My Life Pinterest board. I guarantee you’ll find quite a few!

.

.

ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
.

CookieBot-Inspired Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies + GIVEAWAY

2016 July 26
by Emily Hill

CookieBot would have no problem inhaling these pretzel chocolate chip cookies. They’re soft, chewy and chocolaty with the right amount of crunch!

.
Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies -- Harry & Horsie's CookieBot would have no problem inhaling these pretzel chocolate chip cookies. They're soft, chewy and chocolaty with the right amount of crunch!


.
This post was sponsored on behalf of Zenni Optical via One2One Network. All thoughts, opinions and insatiable love of reading are my own. Post may include affiliate links to help support my Diet Coke habit.

.
A few weeks ago I shared purple polka-dotted cream cheese sugar cookies inspired by one of our favorite picture books, I Like Myself. We had so much fun turning that beloved story into a baking session, we did it again with one of George’s favorite pictures books, CookieBot!

.
CookieBot -- One of our favorite Harry & Horsie adventures!.
CookieBot -- One of our favorite Harry & Horsie adventures!.

We have both Harry & Horsie books and I love them as much as—if not more than—the kids.

I find this true with a lot of the books in their collection.

We took CookieBot’s love of the classic baked treat and turned it into a new baked treat with these pretzel chocolate chip cookies. They are SO good!
.
Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies -- Harry & Horsie's CookieBot would have no problem inhaling these pretzel chocolate chip cookies. They're soft, chewy and chocolaty with the right amount of crunch!

.
The dough bakes up slightly crisp on the edges with a chewy center while the combination of semisweet chocolate and salty pretzel makes each bite divine.

Let’s be honest, I pretty much think every cookie is divine.

.
Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies -- Harry & Horsie's CookieBot would have no problem inhaling these pretzel chocolate chip cookies. They're soft, chewy and chocolaty with the right amount of crunch!

.
Not surprising, whipping up a recipe inspired by a classic read is one of the best ways to making reading engaging and interactive. This is good news for those who are looking to encourage their kids to dive into more books when school’s out for the summer. I found quite a few books on the shelf that would make for some yummy time in the kitchen together.

.
Childrens Picture Books.

Just imagine what you could make: apple pie, ice cream, pancakes, gingerbread babies, blueberry muffins, homemade bread and jam… It’s a smorgasbord of book-inspired deliciousness. In fact, I bet you have enough books on your bookshelves to make a recipe a week until school’s back in session! But first you should make these pretzel chocolate chip cookies.

.
Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies -- Harry & Horsie's CookieBot would have no problem inhaling these pretzel chocolate chip cookies. They're soft, chewy and chocolaty with the right amount of crunch!

.
Printable recipe for pretzel chocolate chip cookies below followed by the giveaway. Enjoy!
.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
CookieBot would have no problem inhaling these pretzel chocolate chip cookies. They're soft, chewy and chocolaty with the right amount of crunch! Makes approx. 3 dozen.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup plus 2 T unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup plus 2 T sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T water
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
  • 2½ cups flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups broken pretzel pieces
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugar in large bowl until well mixed. Add eggs, water and vanilla. Beat until fluffy.
  3. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Fold in pretzel pieces and chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop a large tablespoon of dough onto ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with a glass or your fingers. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until edges are golden brown and center is set.

.
Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies -- Harry & Horsie's CookieBot would have no problem inhaling these pretzel chocolate chip cookies. They're soft, chewy and chocolaty with the right amount of crunch!

.
And now for the GIVEAWAY!
.

Zenni Optical is giving away one (1) $50 Zenni Optical gift card!
.
*Giveaway open to U.S. readers only.

We’ve shopped Zenni Optical and found a ton of styles we loved. Zenni provides on-trend (i.e. super cute), quality eyewear for the entire family at affordable prices, plus they have prescription and non-prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses. That means you can read anywhere, anytime, even at the beach! Just remember to pack your freshly baked pretzel chocolate chip cookies for an afternoon snack!
.

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

.
.

Looking for more yummy recipes? Try browsing my best of Is This Really My Life Pinterest board. I guarantee you’ll find quite a few!

.

.

ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
.

Butterbeer Sandwich Cookies + a Harry Potter Giveaway!

2016 July 24
by Emily Hill

Butterbeer sandwich cookies are the perfect dessert for Butterbeer lovers. They combine buttery butterscotch & toffee cookies with a rich, creamy butterscotch frosting and are simply magical.

.
Butterbeer Sandwich Cookies -- Butterbeer sandwich cookies are the perfect dessert for Butterbeer lovers. They're combine buttery butterscotch & toffee cookies with a rich, creamy butterscotch frosting and are simply magical.

.
One of my unwritten rules is “never drink your calories.”

It’s up there with “never bring in your Nordstrom Rack bags while the husband is home.”

This whole avoid liquid calories is how I try (sometimes unsuccessfully) to keep my daily calories within respectable limits because I love all the baked things. One of the few times I’ve made an exception to this rule was when I visited Harry Potter World…because Butterbeer.

.
Butterbeer Sandwich Cookies -- Butterbeer sandwich cookies are the perfect dessert for Butterbeer lovers. They're combine buttery butterscotch & toffee cookies with a rich, creamy butterscotch frosting and are simply magical.

.
While I tout Diet Coke as the nectar of the gods, Butterbeer runs a close second. It would probably tie if there were a diet version that tasted just as delicious. I mean, the drink is cream soda on crack—a really yummy, buttery, butterscotch-y crack. And while you can find Butterbeer recipes all over the web, I knew turning this delightful flavor into some sort of baked good would be like catching the Golden Snitch.

.
Butterbeer Sandwich Cookies -- Butterbeer sandwich cookies are the perfect dessert for Butterbeer lovers. They're combine buttery butterscotch & toffee cookies with a rich, creamy butterscotch frosting and are simply magical.

.
I was worried these Butterbeer sandwich cookies would be too sweet, and perhaps they are if you’re strictly into chocolate, but for this family they were perfect. I found if you slightly over-baked the cookies so they were a bit crisper on the bottom, that added bit of crunch with the chewy cookie and creamy frosting made for a sandwich cookie worthy of Rageun Rambling’s Happy Harry Potter series (more on that below).

.
Butterbeer Sandwich Cookies -- Butterbeer sandwich cookies are the perfect dessert for Butterbeer lovers. They're combine buttery butterscotch & toffee cookies with a rich, creamy butterscotch frosting and are simply magical.

.
Make sure when you bake these cookies you use Heath Bits o’ Brickle Toffee Bits (NOT covered in chocolate). I had to go to Walmart to find them because Smith’s only carried the Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits. If you’re desparate you could always buy a handful of Heath candy bars, suck off the chocolate and break ’em into tiny pieces.

Kidding. That would be gross.

.
Butterbeer Sandwich Cookies -- Butterbeer sandwich cookies are the perfect dessert for Butterbeer lovers. They're combine buttery butterscotch & toffee cookies with a rich, creamy butterscotch frosting and are simply magical.

.
Also, these Butterbeer sandwich cookies are best eaten the same day. You can eat them on day two but the frosting will slightly soften the cookies making them more the texture of those Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies. Don’t get me wrong, I love those things but fresh Butterbeer cookies are better.

Another option would be to bake the cookies and simply frost the tops. It’s not as much fun as sandwich cookies but it’s quick and easy!

Printable recipe for Butterbeer sandwich cookies below followed by the giveaway details. Enjoy!
.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Butterbeer Sandwich Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Butterbeer sandwich cookies are the perfect dessert for Butterbeer lovers. They're combine buttery butterscotch & toffee cookies with a rich, creamy butterscotch frosting and are simply magical. Makes approximately 18 sandwich cookies (3 dozen regular cookies).
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
Serves: 12
Ingredients
Cookies
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (3.4-oz) package butterscotch pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp imitation butter extract
  • 1 (8-oz) package Heath Bits o' Brickle Bits (toffee bits without milk chocolate)
Frosting
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup butterscotch instant pudding mix
  • ½ to ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tsp imitation butter extract
Instructions
Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Cream together butter and sugars in a large bowl. Beat in instant pudding mix until blended. Add vanilla, butter extract and eggs and mix well.
  4. Add flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Fold in toffee baking bits.
  5. Place rounded tablespoonfuls of dough on ungreased cookie sheet or silicone baking mat. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are set. Let cool 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Frosting
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high for 3 to 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Adjust powdered sugar until frosting reaches desired consistency. (I like my frosting a little thicker for sandwich cookies.)
  2. Spread desired amount of frosting onto bottom of one cookie; top with second cookie. Serve same day if possible. Store, covered, up to 1 to 2 days.

 
.

Harry Potter everything. Great book nerd gifts and book swag.
Prize Pack #1

.
See more about each prize and sponsor at this giveaway post and be sure to enter the other equally awesome prize pack while you’re there! Winner must have a US address or be willing to pay for international shipping.

.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
.

Attention, Harry Potter fans!

Every July counting down to Harry’s birthday, Raegun Ramblings hosts her Happy Harry Potter series. If you’re a Harry Potter fan (if you’re not, we may not be able to remain friends), you won’t want to miss it all the posts and roundups. It’s more fun than a room full of Fizzing Whisbees!

.

Looking for more yummy recipes? Try browsing my best of Is This Really My Life Pinterest board. I guarantee you’ll find quite a few!

.

.

ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
.

Healthy Strawberry Orange Protein Smoothie

2016 July 20
by Emily Hill

Orange juice, strawberries, banana and vanilla protein powder come together in this delicious healthy strawberry orange protein smoothie.

.
Healthy Strawberry Orange Protein Smoothie -- Orange juice, strawberries, banana and vanilla protein powder come together in this delicious healthy strawberry orange protein smoothie.


.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Purely Inspired. All thoughts, opinions and smoothies are mine.

.
Madison and I have been doing some power pump classes this summer and trying to eat a bit healthier. As a result, I’ve been looking for ways to increase our protein intake without a serious addition of calories. One of the best ways is by adding protein powder to our smoothies like I did in this double peanut butter chocolate shake. But not everyone loves chocolate (hard to believe, I know), so I wanted to create a smoothie recipe that used the vanilla protein powder from Simply Organic.

.
Purely Inspired Organic Protein French Vanilla.

I feel like I created a pretty darn delicious one.

.
Healthy Strawberry Orange Protein Smoothie -- Orange juice, strawberries, banana and vanilla protein powder come together in this delicious healthy strawberry orange protein smoothie.

.
This strawberry orange smoothie uses reduced-sugar orange juice, fresh frozen strawberries and banana, a scoop of vanilla protein powder plus some vanilla extract and honey. While it does have a slight protein taste, it wasn’t enough to keep George from having seconds.

.
Healthy Strawberry Orange Protein Smoothie -- Orange juice, strawberries, banana and vanilla protein powder come together in this delicious healthy strawberry orange protein smoothie.

.
My kids are always begging me to make smoothies, and I really should make the more often because they’re super easy and can be super healthy.

Sometimes we make unhealthy ones because Mom has PMS; no one ever complains.

This strawberry orange smoothie is definitely going in our smoothie recipe rotation. Next time I may even try adding a little almond milk for added calcium and creaminess. Mmm…

Printable recipe for strawberry orange smoothie below. Enjoy!
.

Healthy Strawberry Orange Protein Smoothie
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Orange juice, strawberries, banana and vanilla protein powder come together in this delicious healthy strawberry orange protein smoothie. Makes approx. 2 servings.
Author:
Recipe type: Drink
Cuisine: Smoothie
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 cup reduced-sugar, reduced-calorie orange juice (we love Trop50)
  • 1 cup fresh frozen strawberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder like Purely Inspired Organic Protein
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in blender in order listed and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

.
Here are a few more delicious smoothie recipes for you to enjoy!

.
Pineapple Coconut Mango Smoothie -- This smoothie has only five ingredients and is packed with antioxidants and vitamins. It features fresh or frozen mango, frozen pineapple, Greek yogurt, coconut milk and banana. So yummy and great for workouts!


Pineapple coconut mango smoothie

.
Antioxidant-Packed Tropical Berry Smoothie - This tropical berry smoothie features a blend of pineapple, mangoes and strawberries plus antioxidant-rich organic aronia berry concentrate.


Antioxidant-packed tropical berry smoothie

.
 - only 3 ingredients and so yummy!


Pina colada smoothie

.
Tropical tart cherry smoothie


Tropical tart cherry smoothie

.
Emergen-C orange vanilla smoothie


Orange vanilla smoothie

.
Island green smoothie


Island green smoothie

.
Copycat Peanut Butter Moo'd Smoothie


Copycat peanut butter moo’d smoothie

.
Double Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Shake -- packed with over 30 grams of protein and less than 13 grams of sugar (8 grams from banana). Delicious chocolate peanut butter smoothie taste!


Double peanut butter chocolate protein shake

.
.

Looking for more yummy recipes? Try browsing my best of Is This Really My Life Pinterest board. I guarantee you’ll find quite a few!

.

.

ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
.

A Genius Way to Organize Picnic Supplies

2016 July 18
by Emily Hill

Organize essential picnic supplies, from bug spray and blankets to plates and plasticware, by turning your craft organizer into a picnic caddy!

.
Genius Way to Organize Picnic Supplies -- Organize essential picnic supplies, from bug spray and blankets to plates and plasticware, by turning your craft organizer into a picnic caddy.


.
This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® & Creative Options, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #Storagewithstyle http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

.
While our family enjoys a variety of activities during warmer weather, we don’t go on picnics nearly as often as we should. I have no problem packing a few water bottles and sandwiches for a hike or throwing some juice boxes, granola bars and fruit snacks in a small cooler for the pool, but pulling together everything needed for an official picnic feels a bit overwhelming to me.

I’m not talking about picking up drive-thru and sitting at the school playground. I’m talking about a real picnicking adventure where you take a drive and spend a few hours exploring a new park or meeting friends down by the river. And for that you’ll want more than foot-long sandwiches and packaged silverware. You’ll want all the picnicking things.

.
Genius Way to Organize Picnic Supplies -- Organize essential picnic supplies, from bug spray and blankets to plates and plasticware, by turning your craft organizer into a picnic caddy.

.
I’ve discovered the answer to organizing all the picnicking things—an answer that requires little work and little time, for once you organize your picnic supplies, all you’ll need do is restock on occasion. Other than that, you just grab and go.

Why can’t packing for family vacations be this easy?

I found this Creative Options Grab ‘N Go craft organizer at Hobby Lobby (don’t forget the 40% coupon!) and knew it would be brilliant for picnic supplies…but I had no idea how brilliant. I packed so many supplies into that thing, it was like Mary Poppins’ carpet bag!

.
Genius Way to Organize Picnic Supplies -- Organize essential picnic supplies, from bug spray and blankets to plates and plasticware, by turning your craft organizer into a picnic caddy.

.
Genius Way to Organize Picnic Supplies -- Organize essential picnic supplies, from bug spray and blankets to plates and plasticware, by turning your craft organizer into a picnic caddy.

.
Let’s take a look at everything I fit inside this Creative Options craft organizer.

.
Genius Way to Organize Picnic Supplies -- Organize essential picnic supplies, from bug spray and blankets to plates and plasticware, by turning your craft organizer into a picnic caddy.
.
Inside lid:

  • Fleece blanket
  • Salad-size paper plates
  • Napkins
  • First aid kit

.

Genius Way to Organize Picnic Supplies -- Organize essential picnic supplies, from bug spray and blankets to plates and plasticware, by turning your craft organizer into a picnic caddy.
.
Inside top tray:

  • Travel bug spray
  • Bite & itch relief
  • Sunscreen
  • Table clips
  • Chapstick with sunscreen
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Notebooks
  • Mad Gab card game

.

Genius Way to Organize Picnic Supplies -- Organize essential picnic supplies, from bug spray and blankets to plates and plasticware, by turning your craft organizer into a picnic caddy.
.
Inside middle tray:

  • Plasticware
  • Waterproof matches
  • Salt & pepper

.

Genius Way to Organize Picnic Supplies -- Organize essential picnic supplies, from bug spray and blankets to plates and plasticware, by turning your craft organizer into a picnic caddy.
.
Inside bottom tray:

  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Table cips
  • Bubbles
  • Plastic tablecloth
  • Wet wipes

.
Not only do you have the necessities but you have not-so-necessities to keep kids entertained like bubbles, markers and notebooks and a card game. All you need to add is large paper plates and the food!

Tweak this caddy a little and you’d have the perfect road trip travel kit, or do as Livi suggested and turn it into a baby essentials organizer with wipes, diapers, bum cream (her words), burp clothes and extra pacifiers. The creative organization options are endless!

Now grab yourself a Creative Options Grab ‘N Go craft organizer, fill it with your favorite picnic supplies and get that family outdoors!

.

Looking for more fun ideas? Try browsing my best of Is This Really My Life Pinterest board. I guarantee you’ll find quite a few!

.

.

ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
.

Quick & Dirty Deep Cleaning

2016 July 14
by Emily Hill

With french doors from the backyard into our family room, that carpet sees a serious amount of traffic (i.e., sand, dirt, muddy dog paws). Renting a Rug Doctor is a quick and dirty way to get ’em clean.

.
Rug Doctor review -- Renting a Rug Doctor is our favorite way to get our family room clean. It is quick and easy and does a great job. The proof is in the water reclaim tank.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Rug Doctor. All opinions are 100% mine.

.
Whoever thought it was a good idea to have people—mainly kids and pets—walk directly from a grassy, sandy, sometimes muddy backyard into a carpeted family should have his contractor license removed. Or at least foot the bill for our carpet cleaning.

.
Rug Doctor review -- Renting a Rug Doctor is our favorite way to get our family room clean. It is quick and easy and does a great job. The proof is in the water reclaim tank.

.
Rug Doctor review -- Renting a Rug Doctor is our favorite way to get our family room clean. It is quick and easy and does a great job. The proof is in the water reclaim tank.
.

Yes, that’s duct tape on our ottoman; I’m fancy like that.

Thanks to such a high-traffic area, that carpet needs cleaning more often than most but there’s never a good time to do it. If kids aren’t dragging in sand and dirty and sprinkler water in the summer, they’re tracking in snow and slush in the winter. And Coco, as cute as she is, can leave muddy paw prints from the door to the kitchen.

.
Rug Doctor review -- Renting a Rug Doctor is our favorite way to get our family room clean. It is quick and easy and does a great job. The proof is in the water reclaim tank.
.

It’s way too much work and money to have a professional cleaner come as often as needed, and your standard upright steam cleaner/vacuum isn’t always up to heavy-duty tasks like this one. That’s where Rug Doctor comes in…and this isn’t the first time we’ve used it.

When we were living in an apartment, Rug Doctor came in super handy post potty training or when toddlers had the flu. (Why is it they can never make it to the bathroom but prefer vomiting in their beds?) We could rent a Rug Doctor any time of day or night from our local grocery store, and with only a few minutes of setup, have our carpets clean in record time.

.
Rug Doctor review -- Renting a Rug Doctor is our favorite way to get our family room clean. It is quick and easy and does a great job. The proof is in the water reclaim tank.
.

Now that the kids have grown up and we have a dog, Rug Doctor is a great solution for keeping not only my family room carpet clean but also getting the kid and pet and teenager out of our microfiber couches. Yep, Rug Doctor can be used on more than carpet including upholstery, mattresses and other soft surfaces. Plus it’s a professional-grade deep clean at a fraction of the cost (about $29.99). With George’s amazing appetite, my grocery bill is skyrocketing; I need to save wherever I can!

We had friends staying with us over the 4th of July holiday. They brought four kids and one dog, so our family room carpet definitely needed freshening up. I grabbed a Rug Doctor from Smith’s along with a bottle of Oxy cleaner and had that family room clean in about 20 minutes from start to finish.

.
Rug Doctor review -- Renting a Rug Doctor is our favorite way to get our family room clean. It is quick and easy and does a great job. The proof is in the water reclaim tank.
.

And boy, did it need it. Ewww…

.
Rug Doctor review -- Renting a Rug Doctor is our favorite way to get our family room clean. It is quick and easy and does a great job. The proof is in the water reclaim tank.

.
Rug Doctor review -- Renting a Rug Doctor is our favorite way to get our family room clean. It is quick and easy and does a great job. The proof is in the water reclaim tank.
.

I had an extra stubborn spot, so I pre-treated it with some Spot & Stain Remover. I haven’t had much luck in the past, so I was pleasantly surprised when the Rug Doctor nearly eliminated it. Check out the before and after. Yippee!

.
Rug Doctor review -- Renting a Rug Doctor is our favorite way to get our family room clean. It is quick and easy and does a great job. The proof is in the water reclaim tank.

.
Rug Doctor review -- Renting a Rug Doctor is our favorite way to get our family room clean. It is quick and easy and does a great job. The proof is in the water reclaim tank.
.

Even better, the carpet took far less time to dry than my upright vacuum/steam cleaner. It was dry to the touch within a couple hours and completely dry by the time we woke up the next morning. And because all cleaning solutions have been tested and proven safe for children and pets, I didn’t worry about Coco having any weird reactions to the newly cleaned carpets…other than not recognizing them.

If you’re still not convinced you should Rug Doctor your carpets (I love turning nouns into verbs!), Rug Doctor machines have a Seal of Approval from the Carpet and Rug Institute, the carpet industry’s only scientific program to test and measure the effectiveness of cleaning products and equipment. So yeah, they’re pretty dang good at what they do. Head online to find a rental location near you or learn more about available options.
.

Visit Sponsors Site

.

If you’re looking for more totally honest reviews, check out my ITRML reviews Pinterest board.

.

.

ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
.

Wild Rice Salad with Avocado & Toasted Pecans

2016 July 13
by Emily Hill

This wild rice salad is the perfect summer dish with its diced chicken, red bell pepper, snow peas, avocado and toasted pecans.

.
Wild Rice Salad - This wild rice salad is the perfect summer dish with its diced chicken, red bell pepper, snow peas, avocado and toasted pecans.

.
The first time I tasted this wild rice salad it was spring of 2007. I seriously can’t believe it’s taken me 8 YEARS to make it and share it. I stumbled across this wild rice salad recipe while browsing my binder of power (aka recipe binder) looking for some inspiration. I shopped for the ingredients the next day and served it at our Relief Society summer social that evening. Not many recipes get that quick a turnaround!

.
Wild Rice Salad - This wild rice salad is the perfect summer dish with its diced chicken, red bell pepper, snow peas, avocado and toasted pecans.

.
This wild rice salad is a delightful summer dish with its cooked wild rice, diced chicken, red bell pepper, snow peas, avocado and toasted pecans. It’s right up there with my favorite Asian ramen chicken salad. In fact, the perfect weeknight meal would be a plate half filled with one and half filled with the other.

Mmm…

.
Wild Rice Salad - This wild rice salad is the perfect summer dish with its diced chicken, red bell pepper, snow peas, avocado and toasted pecans.

.
Though you’ll dirty a few dishes while making this chicken and wild rice salad, it’s totally worth it. Plus it makes a pretty good size salad, so it’s perfect for summer potlucks and family get-together. We eat it as a main dish but you could always serve it as a side.

.
Wild Rice Salad - This wild rice salad is the perfect summer dish with its diced chicken, red bell pepper, snow peas, avocado and toasted pecans.

.
Printable recipe for wild rice salad below. Enjoy!
.

Wild Rice Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
This wild rice salad is the perfect summer dish with its diced chicken, red bell pepper, snow peas, avocado and toasted pecans.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 12
Ingredients
Salad
  • 1 box Rice-A-Roni (or other brand) long grain & wild rice, prepared according to package directions
  • 3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 to 2 cups snow peas, rinsed, ends removed with larger pods cut in half
  • 2 medium avocados, diced
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • Juice of 1 lemon
Dressing
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T Dijon muster
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
Instructions
Dressing
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or shaker bottle; mix well. Cover and refrigerate.
Salad
  1. Combine wild rice mix, chicken, green onions, red bell pepper and snow peas in a large bowl and toss with dressing. Refrigerate 2 to 4 hours.
  2. Add avocados, pecans and lemon juice before serving and toss to coat well. Garnish with additional chopped toasted pecans (optional). Serve immediately.

 
.

Here are a few more scrumptious salad recipes you can enjoy year round!

.
The Best Asian Ramen Chicken Salad Ever -- power up the taste and nutrients of Asian ramen salad with 6 superfoods, rotisserie chicken and a to-die-for dressing!


The best Asian ramen chicken salad EVER

.

Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Salad

Pepperoni pizza pasta salad

.

Tequila lime chopped chicken salad

Tequila lime chopped chicken salad

.

Homestyle macaroni salad

Homestyle macaroni salad

.

Pistachio pudding salad

Pistachio pudding salad

.

Chicken pasta salad

Summertime chicken pasta salad

.

Looking for more yummy recipes? Try browsing my best of Is This Really My Life Pinterest board. I guarantee you’ll find quite a few!

.

.

ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.
.