Watermelon, Tomato & Jicama Salad with Tajin Honey Dressing

Between my birthday on July 3rd, followed immediately by Independence Day and a family reunion at the lake beginning, July 6th, I’m happy to report that I’ll be enjoying more than a week of non-stop, fun-in-the-sun festivities. No complaints about the 100-degree weather from me, this is my absolute favorite time of the year! Watermelon Jicama Tomato Salad with Tajin Honey Dressing

On the agenda: morning runs, paddle-boarding, wake boarding, jet-skiing, fishing, helping with some landscape work and then lounging around on the dock. All this is sure to make a person thirsty and hungry. I’ll be at once hydrating and enjoying a wholesome snack thanks to watermelon and my latest recipe, Watermelon, Tomato and Jicama Salad with Tajin Honey Dressing. Read on to get the all the deets, the full recipe and how you can incorporate watermelon into your casual summer entertaining. Continue reading

DIY Popcorn Shakin’ Cups – Mess Free Mix-ins – Pop Secret Popcorn

Enjoy family movie night with Pop Secret popcorn and this genius container hack for serving up the snack!

The end of summer is especially bittersweet this year, not just because our leisure time is coming to an end (well, the kiddos’ respite anyway), but my oldest is heading off to college. Yup, that’s right – this mama bear is letting go of a cub and even with my stoic sensibilities, I’m getting a little choked up just typing out the words. With the Big Boy literally leaving the den in 10 days, our family movie nights seem even more special this summer.

Add your favorite ingredients to customize Pop Secret Popcorn flavors.

Movie night is a great excuse to hang out together (an increasing rarity in the teenage years), have some laughs, engage in some invaluable pre and post movie discussions – and, naturally, share some yummy Pop Secret popcorn and sensible snacks together!

Popcorn with Chocolate Chips and Almonds makes a healthy salty-sweet snack!

Now, over these last 18 years of watching movies with my kids, I’ve learned a several things. First, my lone female vote in a house with four male people means I don’t have a say in what we watch – we’ve made the natural boy progression from non-princess Disney productions to action and shoot-em-up flicks. Not a lot of romantic comedies and historical fiction in the DVR queue – of all the guy movies we watch, I like the superhero stuff best – that’s why I’m pretty pumped to have just watched the 2005 version of “Fantastic Four” in preparations for the reboot coming to theaters. By the way, if you Buy any 3 Pop-Secret items between 7/31 – 8/31 and get a Free ticket to the Fantastic Four movie (up to $5) while supplies last

Make these DIY Popcorn Shakin' Cups for your next party or family movie night.

The second important thing I’ve learned is that no matter the age, boys are just messy – and this includes my husband to a degree. Sharing one big bowl of popcorn means crushed kernels left all over the floor and greasy finger being wiped off on the couch. Hello, napkin? And, of course there will always be a bit of sibling squabbling over who gets to hold the bowl, who’s hogging all the food and exactly what toppings are put on the popcorn. To resolve these irritating movie-time issues, I came up with this a great popcorn-eating hack that will rock your socks off – Popcorn Shakin’ Cups!

These Popcorn Shakin’ Cups allow 1) everyone to have their own portion of popcorn, 2) customizable “mix ins” to be added and neatly shaken up to combine, and 3) the popcorn to be eaten straight from the lid opening to mouth (meaning no messy fingers)! Yes, I know – GENIUS!

Putting popcorn and custom mix-in ingredients into cups with domed lids is an easy and mess-free way to make and eat!

It’s easy to put together your own Popcorn Shakin’ Cups -purchase tall, clear plastic cups (mine are 20-ounce but I’ve seen them larger) and domed lids (usually found at an industry or party warehouse or sweet talk your convenience store for some shake/slurpee lids). Next fill with popcorn and your favorite mix-ins – I did almonds and chocolate chips, but Parmesan cheese and garlic salt, or cinnamon sugar and pecans are other yummy popcorn ideas. Add a cute label if you like –and that’s it! Eat, enjoy and toss – no clean up! Great for a party!Popcorn is perfect for family movie night -- you'll love these DIY popcorn cups.

I picked up my mom-of-teenage-boys-sized haul of Pop Secret at Walmart – I got the Sea Salt flavor for movie night plus an extra box of the Pop Secret 100 Calorie Pop 94% Fat Free Kettle Corn for me to keep on hand for sensible snacking in the afternoon. Also, note to self – perhaps I should buy Pop Secret popcorn flavors by the cart full because a variety of boxes would be great to slip into oldest son’s college care packages since he has a dorm microwave.

Have you seen any good movies this summer? What is your favorite popcorn flavor or mix-in?

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Pop Secret, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #pop4Fantastic4 http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Watermelon Coconut Cherry Sippers + 8 Ways to Enjoy Picnic Day

Watermelon and Picnics #LivingOnTheWedge

Pack your cooler and head to the nearest park, lake or recreation area because June 18 is International Picnic Day! Yes, that’s right, folks all over the world will be lounging on blankets, grilling or eating cold-cut sandwiches and enjoying refreshing beverages. While I personally think it might be a bit cold for a June picnic in some parts of the world (uhh, like Siberia), Texas certainly has more than enough of the warm weather thing going on – that’s why I insist on making watermelon part of our picnic in every way possible.

Eight Ways to Enjoy Watermelon on a Picnic

Watermelon Coconut Cherry Sippers are a refreshing, hydrating drink for your summer picnic.Not only is a slice of watermelon super tasty, it’s also hydrating. Did you know that munching on 8-ounces of watermelon is like drinking almost that same amount of water – but in addition, you get natural sugars, electrolytes, vitamin A, vitamin C, and lycopene! It’s like Mother Nature’s sports drink except with no added sugars or funky stuff.  You’re going to love to quench your thirst with my recipe for Watermelon Coconut Cherry Sippers at the bottom of this post.

8 Unique Ways to Enjoy Watermelon at a Summer Picnic

In addition to the Watermelon Coconut Cherry Sipper recipe, I’m also sharing eight ways to enjoy watermelon at your next picnic or outdoor event!

Eat by the Slice: Uncut, this fruit is easy and mess-free to pack for a picnic – and big enough to share with a crowd. Slice up your watermelon on-site with this simple way to make watermelon spear slices for sharing.

Use as “Ice” in Cooler:  Chill an uncut watermelon or two in the refridgerator overnight, get ‘em good and cold. Transfer watermelon to a cooler the next day before your picnic and pack remainder of food around and on top of the melon.  If using picnic perishables within a few hours, food should remain cold and safe. However, if it’s going to be a long day in the sun, add a bit of ice.

Repurpose Rind as Vase:  The bowl-like rind that remains after watermelon flesh is scooped out makes a clever vessel for displaying flowers.  Use a personal-sized melon and slice off the top three-fourths of the way up.  Or, for a dramatic display on a big table, slice a large oval melon in half lengthwise and arrange with blooms.

Work Up a Sweat: Don’t lounge on the picnic blanket all day, get moving! Use a watermelon to get in a workout on dry land or exercise in the pool – watermelons in sizes ranging from 10 to 40 pounds are easy to find, so there is a weight option for everyone.

Kid-friendly Cutouts:  Keep younger children busy and entertained at your picnic by appointing them helpers who punch out shapes in slices of watermelon with cookie cutters.  Shapes can be served on an ice pop stick for a fun handle.

Drink Up: Because watermelons are more than 90 percent water, they are very refreshing on a hot day. The high water content along with vitamins, electrolites and other nutrients will help you and your family from becoming dehydrated on a hot day.  Drink the juice “as-is” or enjoy one of the numerous watermelon beverages around including the Watermelon Coconut Cherry Sipper recipe below or one of the many watermelon beverage recipes from the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

Create Unique Recipes: Watermelon is very versatile and can be incorporated into many creative recipes for your picnic. Pack the fixings for Watermelon Sandwich Wraps or, if grilling at your picnic, whip up a batch of Spicy Watermelon BBQ Sauce before you head out.

Play Games:  Keep the watermelon fun going all day long by using the fruit to play fun party games.  Small children will have a blast playing Hot Watermelon with a small, personal-sized watermelon. Have the kids sit in a circle and pass the watermelon around from person to person while music plays. The child who is holding the watermelon when the music stops is “out” and the game continues until one person remains.  Older kids will have fun at a pool or lake picnic playing Greased Watermelon Football, a game where a watermelon rubbed with Vasaline is tossed in the water and teams jump in to retrieve it and bring to dry land – it’s a slippery, action-packed and hysterical event!

Watermelon Picnic TableIf you’re feeling crafty, why not paint up a simple picnic table to resemble the quintessential fruit of summertime?!  I found this cute idea on Pinterest! That reminds me,  you should follow my #LivingOnTheWedge Pinterest board to keep up to date on all things watermelon!

 

Watermelon Coconut Cherry Sippers are a healthy, hydrating and refreshing beverage for your next picnic.

Watermelon Coconut Cherry Sippers Recipe:

  • 4 cups chopped watermelon
  • 12-ounce bottle coconut water
  • 1 cup frozen dark cherries

Add approximately 4 cups of chopped watermelon into blender. Pulse for 30 seconds, or until juiced. Pour contents through fine strainer to remove excess pulp (it’s okay if some goes through).  Add a 12-ounce bottle of coconut water to extracted watermelon juice. Stir. Pour evenly into 4 tall glasses and add 6 to 8 frozen dark cherries to each cup (to serve as tasty ice cubes).  Serves 4.

How would you enjoy a watermelon at your next picnic? Please post it in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer 

The post is sponsored by the National Watermelon Promotion Board. However, the opinions and content (unless otherwise noted) shared are my own and NWPB did not tell me what to say or how to say it.

All Watermelon, All Summer! Crazy Pool Workout #LivingOnTheWedge

It's all watermelon, all summer at TheFitFork.com! Come visit for healthy recipes, nutrition tips, watermelon workouts, family fun and other ways to make my favorite fruit part of a fit and fun lifestyle!I am so happy that June is here, it’s officially the kickoff to my summer-long binge of watermelon. Those who know me understand and accept that I am a watermelon worshiper and those who are visiting for the first time will quickly come to realize the magnitude of my affection for this fruit. Last year, I celebrated watermelon with a week full of undivided attention and am including those links at the bottom of this post – please visit! This year, I am spreading out the watermelon love with an entire summer of #LivingOnTheWedge – twice a month, I’ll share my best creative and unique ways to make watermelon a part of a fit, flavorful and fabulous lifestyle.

Watermelon Pool Workout #LivingOnTheWedge - TheFitFork.com As crazy as it sounds, today I have a watermelon and am ready to workout. Last year, I shared a WOD using a watermelon in lieu of a medicine ball – this year, I taking the action to the swimming pool so we can all stay cool! In terms of weird and wacky workouts, Prancersize doesn’t have anything on this!  In addition to the graphic, I have a video demo further down (you’ll definitely laugh).

Watermelon Pool Workout #LivingOnTheWedge - TheFitFork.com

A couple great things about exercising in the pool (other than staying cool) are that it’s easy on your joints and offers extra resistance for easy toning and muscle-making! Watermelons come in a variety of sizes, for this workout, I’ve used a seedless watermelon that weighs 30 lbs and a personal-sized watermelon weighing in at 10 lbs — adjust to meet your fitness level.  One of the perks of working out with a watermelon is that you get to EAT the equipment afterward! #EatTheEquipment 

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greased watermelon footballI have another idea for watermelons and large bodies of water! If you’re having a pool party, keep the kids (and grown-ups) thoroughly entertained and active with a game of Greased Watermelon Football.  Just lather up a good-sized melon with petroleum jelly and toss it in the pool. When the whistle blows, everyone jumps in and the first person to emerge on dry land with the watermelon in hand is declared the winner. A greased watermelon, along with its awkward-to-grasp size and a jumble of underwater arms and legs, makes this end goal much harder than it sounds.

After the watermelon water workout and spirited game of greased watermelon football, I’m just going to kick back and relax on my new pool float. How awesome is this — a slice of heaven!Watermelon Pol Float

watermelon pinterest boardRemember to check back all summer to take part in my great big celebration of watermelon – I’ll have posts on picnics, celebrations, special recipes, health benefits, family fun, a giveaway and (maybe the most fun of all) the first-ever running of the Watermelon Mile. I feel like a world record is going to be set! In the meantime, check out my “Living on the Wedge” Watermelon Board on Pinterest filled full with watermelon recipes, facts, health benefits and all the wacky watermelon things that catch my eye. I’d love for you to follow the board and if you have recipes, tips or anything watermelon-related, please follow the instructions to join as a pinner to the group!

 

#LivingOnTheWedge 2014 Posts

Have you ever worked out in a pool workout or used anything “alternative” for an exercise weight? Please share in the comments below! XOXO Jennifer 

The post is sponsored by the National Watermelon Promotion Board. However, the opinions and content (unless otherwise noted) shared are my own and NWPB did not tell me what to say or how to say it.