JoyFoodSunshine Moments 07.2017

“I can’t remember all the times I’ve tried to tell myself to hold on to these moments as they pass.”

Welcome to “Moments” here on JoyFoodSunshine. At the end of every month I share a recap of all the shenanigans that went down in crazy town (i.e. my life in a nutshell).  So here it is for July 2017!

Recipe love:

Here are a few must-share recipes from the month of July from my favorite spots around the web!

Blueberry Almond Energy Bites from Vintage Mixer {Perfect summer snack}!

One-Bowl Chocolate Zucchini Sheet Cake from The Kitchen McCabe {I’ve never seen zucchini look so pretty}!

Asian Chopped Salad with Grilled Teriyaki Kebabs from Wife Mama Foodie {This is my kind of BBQ feast}!

Green Smoothie Popsicles from Kitchen Confidante {LOVE these healthy summer treats}!

Kale Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Cashew Sauce from Dishing out Health {Perfect cozy weeknight dinner}!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Greek Yogurt Popsicles from Fit Miten Kitchen! {Chocolate & Peanut Butter Forever}!

Life with my tribe:

Fourth of July

Can I just start by being totally honest with you…I don’t love the 4th of July. Seriously, what about the fourth is friendly to families with babies and really little kids? SUPER hot weather? Parades that are all about loud noises and filling your pockets with candy? “Toys” that light on fire and explode? The fact that the main event doesn’t start until 10 PM {which is after my bedtime}? I hate to sound like debbie-downer but I often wish we could be really sneaky and just not tell our kids that the 4th of July was even a thing. Or just say, “Yeah it’s been canceled this year.”

JoyFoodSunshine Moments 07.2017

BUT, we can’t. Because our kids, especially Gabe, count down the days to the night they get to watch fireworks with daddy. They have a an absolute blast being hot, eating candy, lighting things on fire, watching them explode, and staying up way past their bedtime.

So, we do what every parent in America does and just roll with it! I usually stay home with the baby {read: I haven’t seen fireworks in 6 years LOL} and am asleep before the crew rolls in around 11. But we know we’re creating memories that our kids will cherish for the rest of their lives, so it’s totally worth it!

JoyFoodSunshine Moments 07.2017

One of the things I love about living in Utah is that they really value veterans! My husband served as a U.S. Marine for 6 years, and one of our favorite benefits of his veteran status is going to the zoo on Military Appreciation Days! Once around Memorial day and again on the fourth of July, veterans and all their family members get free admission to Hogle Zoo! It’s become our 4th of July tradition!

LOVE my little monkeys!

JoyFoodSunshine Moments 07.2017


Ok I have to be totally honest {again} and tell you that I almost sabotaged this date and actually tried to cancel it moments before it happened. As much as I absolutely love dating my husband, I was trying to get out of it because we had decided we would go without Mara.

I was being pulled in two directions….on one had, I really wanted to have some alone time with my Ritch. And Mara is 3 months old so she would totally survive without me for two hours.

But…on the other hand…I had never left her yet and I really didn’t want to. In so many ways she is still a part of me, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to relax and I’d just want to rush through our date to get home. Ritch assured me that it was OK to bring Mara along. And I realized…I need to do what is right for me and for Mara and to stop comparing myself to other women. I basically never leave my babies for the first year of their lives…and that. is. ok.

So to make the date more enjoyable {i.e. so I didn’t have to nurse while we ate dinner} I pumped before we left. My stud muffin of a man fed Mara her bottle while I stuffed my face with hummus {don’t worry I saved some for him too}!

If you live in SLC and haven’t visited Mazza you’re totally missing out! Look at this feast!


When my sister and brother in law visited we took the kids hiking to Cecret Lake. It was a BLAST. We got to the top and hung out there for a while eating snacks, climbing rocks, and just enjoying the view. The weather was amazing…75 and mostly cloudy, which makes for absolutely perfect hiking conditions! You CAN take four kids ages 6 and under on a hike and have FUN! I promise! 😉

JoyFoodSunshine Moments 07.2017

It was so wonderful spending time with my sister and brother-in-law. I love them so much and am grateful that they’re willing to come out to visit us!  Can you tell we’re related?!

Moments 07.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

Pool Days! 

We have settled into our “pool routine.” We usually go in the evenings and on Friday and Saturday afternoons because Ritch is home. Bethany and Gabe started riding their bikes to the pool which they LOVE. Seriously, they have this swagger about them when they ride on ahead of us, dismount their bikes and explore a little until we catch up. It’s amazing what a little independence does for a kid’s confidence and attitude!

JoyFoodSunshine Moments 07.2017

P.S. I LOVE these floaties! No joke I can actually relax {a little} at the pool when my younger kids who can’t swim are in them! Obviously I am always in the water with them and never more than an arm’s length away, but they’re the best! Just look at Naomi. That belly. I can’t even handle it!

JoyFoodSunshine Moments 07.2017

Mara Hope

Mara is still the best! She is THREE months old now and I’m not quite sure how that happened. It feels like just yesterday I was pregnant, but at the same time I can’t even remember life without Mara in it! She is totally smiling at me all the time and even laughing and cooing. She found her hands and loves to clasp them together chew on them!

JoyFoodSunshine Moments 07.2017

So smiley, I just can’t get enough….

Moments 07.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

And those baby blues…

JoyFoodSunshine Moments 07.2017


In case you didn’t know, 711 gives away free slurps on July 11th. So be sure to mark your calendars for 2018 so you won’t miss standing in line for 20 minutes to save $2! 😉 But really Slurpees take me back to my younger years and one sip transported me back to summers at Maple Hill Pool.

Moments 07.2017 JoyFoodSunshine

And here’s a pic of Naomi just because I love my sweet, spunky fashionista child.

JoyFoodSunshine Moments 07.2017

Our Garden

HELP! My zucchini plants are diseased or something! I have no idea what’s wrong with them but they flower without ever producing an actual zucchini, the leaves are yellow and the roots are black! YUCK! I’m so sad about it too! So if you have any tips please let me know!

Our tomatoes are producing a TON though, and my kids eat the little ones like candy! Our cucumber and pepper plants are growing well too!

JoyFoodSunshine Moments 07.2017

A few of my favorite things…

Rx Bars

You never know when hunger will strike, when you’ll run into traffic, or when there will be an extra long wait at the doctor’s office. So I never leave the house without a diaper bag fully stocked with snacks. RX Bars are my favorite healthy store-bought snack because they have minimal ingredients {all of which my 6 year old can read and pronounce} and taste amazing! They just came out with new flavors geared towards kids too! My favorite is the chocolate peanut butter {surprise surprise} or chocolate sea salt and my kids and husband {LOL} are in love with mixed berry!

JoyFoodSunshine Moments 07.2017

 Aloe Vera Gel

It’s amazing how smells can trigger powerful memories and feelings! I bought some pure aloe vera gel and the second I put it on I was transported back to my childhood. I think I went through bottles of that stuff every summer because I lived at the pool, and I literally teared up as I reminisced about how awesome my summers were as a kid. I just hope I can provide the same great memories for my babies!

Recipes I’m making on repeat:

Healthy Skillet Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie

One of my favorite dessert recipes on this site! SO good!

JoyFoodSunshine Moments 07.2017 Healthy Skillet Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

I am not joking when I say I eat one of these every single day!

Flourless Paleo Brownies

The perfect dessert to feed a bunch of non-healthy dessert eaters! They never know they’re paleo!

JoyFoodSunshine Moments 07.2017

Well that’s all she wrote! I’d love to hear a highlight from your July! What are you looking forward to in August?

If you want to stay connected or you make something from JoyFoodSunshine I would love to see your creations! #joyfoodsunshine

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JoyFoodSunshine Moments 07.2017