Grilling Tips from LongHorn Steakhouse {+ Gift Card Giveaway} ENDS 7/14

This post is sponsored by LongHorn Steakhouse. All opinions expressed are my own.

You guys. When people email me about food, I listen intently. Mention pizza, steak or ribs, and you will really have my attention, which is why I am excited to share some fun tips from LongHorn Steakhouse and offer the chance for one of you to win some fun swag!

Grilling Tips from LongHorn Steakhouse

First the tips, a few of which are totally new to me. I can’t wait to put these to work this summer.

5 Summer Grilling Tips from LongHorn Steakhouse’s Executive Chefs 

  • Boldly season. Don’t be shy when seasoning your steak! Go bold, like we do at LongHorn. For an at-home rub, try “The Big 4” – salt, pepper, granulated onion powder and granulated garlic powder.
  • Sear-in diamond marks. Searing locks in flavor, as well as creates those great grill marks synonymous with summer. Grill your steak for 2-3 minutes on one side, then give it a quarter turn. Flip and repeat.
  • Test for doneness. You can test for doneness two ways. First, with a meat thermometer. Steaks should be at minimum 120-130 degrees if you like it rare, and up to 170 degrees, if you prefer your steak well-done. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can estimate doneness with your hand. Start with an open, relaxed palm. Using your other hand, touch the smooth area directly under your thumb. That’s how a rare steak should feel when you touch it with your tongs. Touch your thumb and forefinger; that’s medium. Thumb and middle finger is medium-well and thumb and pinky is well-done.
  • Handle with tongs. Only use tongs to touch your meat. Poking with a fork to rotate or pull it from the grill will let the juices and flavor out.
  • Give it a rest. Make sure you let your steaks and other proteins rest for 2-3 minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to settle back into the meat, resulting in optimal flavor.

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Family Fun in Southeast Michigan in July 2015 {Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint and Lansing Areas}

My oh my it’s just about JULY! Summer is already flying, eh? There are tons of fab events happening this month, with of course — many surrounding the 4th of July holiday. Take a peek at what’s coming up for family fun in Southeast Michigan in July 2015 including fun in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Lansing and surrounding areas, and be sure to mention what you’re up to this month in the comments!

Family Fun in Southeast Michigan in July 2015

July 1-4 – Salute to America in Greenfield Village {Dearborn} – A classic Independence Day celebration with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra that features authentic cannon fire and a spectacular fireworks display accompanied by live patriotic music. Event held rain or shine, just make sure to get tickets in advance! Adults 13+: $25, Youth 5-12: $15.50, children under 5 are free.

July 3-12 – Oakland County Fair {Davisburg} – Grandstand events, contests, fair food, Big Rock Amusements Carnival, fireworks, free live concerts and MORE! Fair parking is $10/vehicle.

July 3, July 17, July 31 – Movies Under The Stars {Howell – City Park} –Watch your favorite big screen flicks under the stars at Howell City Park. Bring your sleeping bags, lawn chairs, favorite blanket, bug spray, picnic dinner, and family and enjoy the show. Movies start at dusk {typically between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.}. Concessions available, otherwise FREE. July 3 – Paddington, July 17 – Frozen Sing-a-long, July 31 – Planes: Fire and Rescue.

July 4 – Salvation Army’s 50% off Clothing Day {Metro Detroit} – This is my absolute favorite day to hit up SalArmy for awesome deals. All metro Detroit, Washtenaw and Livingston County stores will be participating. Get there right at 7 a.m. for the best items.

July 4 – Independence Day at Cobblestone Farm {Ann Arbor} – Celebrate the tradition of our country’s freedom with nineteenth century activities. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in the shade. Admission: Adults – $2, seniors – $1.50, kids – $1, 3 and under free, or family for $5.

July 4 – Independence Celebration at Crossroads Village {Flint} – Three cheers for the red, white and blue!  Celebrate the holiday with all kinds of fun and games including an exciting carnival midway!  Then take a break and enjoy our annual old-fashioned ice cream social. Adults – $10, children – $8, children 2 and under free.

July 4 – Maybury State Park Fishing Derby {Northville} – Children 17 and younger are invited out with their tackle box and pole to this annual catch-and-release derby. Prizes awarded for largest fish and most caught. FREE, but a recreation passport is required for entry to the park.

July 4 – Independence Fest {Clarkston} – This event features fun activities and a parade for the whole family. Parking and shuttle fees.

July 4 – Slide the City {Ann Arbor} – Embrace your inner child and get ready for the slide of your life! Slide the City is bringing the biggest water party of the summer to Ann Arbor. Grab your swimsuit and speed down to this one of a kind 600′ slip and slide. There will be music, dancing, food, drinks, and swag for sale. $40-$45 for late registration.Slide the City

July 4 – Ann Arbor Jaycees 4th of July Parade and Bike Decorating Contest for Children {Ann Arbor} – This annual parade starts at 10 a.m. FREE.

July 4 and July 9-12 – Concert of Colors {Detroit} – This popular Detroit event features ethnic tunes, food, arts, crafts and family fun at multiple Midtown Detroit venues. FREE.

July 4 – Home Depot Kid’s Workshop {Nationwide} – Learn how to build a Minions scooter at this hands-on workshops; designed for children ages 5 – 12. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last. Register online in advance. FREE. [Continue reading…]

Quick Family Trip Idea: Holland, Michigan

Big Red in Holland Michigan

We had a blast the other day checking out Holland, Michigan. It had been years since I had been and I couldn’t wait to go back. Because Lake Michigan. Because great shopping and restaurants. Because TONS to do for families. Unfortunately, shaky weather forced us to change some plans last-minute, but as we told the […]

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Inside Out Movie Review

Inside Out

I attended a media sneak peek of Inside Out. All opinions expressed below belong to me. Do you ever look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their head? Disney•Pixar’s latest movie, Inside Out, explores that question with the help of some adorable characters – Joy {Amy Poehler}, Fear {Bill Hader}, Anger {Lewis Black}, Disgust {Mindy Kaling} […]

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Oakland County Fair 2015 Information + Giveaway {5 Winners!}

Oakland County Fair1

I will be receiving passes for entry into the Oakland County Fair in exchange for promoting. All opinions expressed are my own. Nothing says summer quite like a fair! I’ve loved hitting up the county fair circuit since I was a little girl. I’ve always enjoyed seeing the 4-H animals, sipping on a fresh squeezed lemonade, riding […]

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Snap a Selfie for Huggies, Help An Organization in Need #UltraHug

Huggies #UltraHug

As a social cause and social media enthusiast, there is nothing I love more than giving back in a simple {and social} way! I’m honored to help spread the word about a fabulous campaign Huggies is currently running to provide local community projects with $2,000 grants. Through, June 25, Huggies is looking for selfies of you and […]

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Summer Must: Visiting The Howell Nature Center

Exploring the Howell Nature Center

We recently nixed cable for one solid reason: To have the perfect excuse to get outside more. I can’t even tell you how much I have loved not having it, but that’s for another post! I’m a huge proponent of getting lots of outdoor time with kids. While I’m no scientist, I will tell you that […]

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My Summer Essentials {+ How to Save with Meijer mPerks}

Summer Essentials with Meijer

I have an ongoing partnership with Meijer and am compensated for posts. All opinions and content belong to me. Summer is the best time of year, amiright? As a parent, I feel a wave of relief come over me each day that is beautiful outside. I love sending my kids out to play and knowing they […]

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30+ Summer Events in Southeast Michigan {Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint and Lansing Areas}

Summer Events in Southeast Michigan

We’re all excited for the kids to be done with school for the year, right? OK, maybe you’re dreading it just a bit…I mean, summer does mean a lot of time to keep little hands occupied and avoiding the boredom blahs. To plan ahead, I’ve put together a little list of the can’t-miss fairs, festivals and summer events in […]

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SEA LIFE Michigan Welcomes Rescued Sea Turtle, Benson

Benson the Sea Turtle from SEA LIFE Michigan

Something random about me? I LOVE sea turtles. Seriously. Back in college, I was active with Alternative Breaks, a sweet volunteer program. I traveled to Romania with Habitat for Humanity, to New Orleans to help with clean-up post Hurricane Katrina, and even rescued sea turtles with the Sea Turtle Conservation League of Singer Island, Florida. […]

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FREE Summer Concerts in Southeast Michigan in 2015 {Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint & Lansing Areas}

FREE Summer Concerts in Southeast Michigan in 2015

I LOVE live music. Unfortunately my budget combined with having young kids makes it near impossible to attend concerts. Instead of shelling out $100 for nosebleed seats, I love supporting our local music scene, and summer is the perfect time to do so. Additionally, outdoor concerts are kid-friendly, after all, what kid doesn’t like to boogie? I found some great […]

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Family Fun in June 2015 in Southeast Michigan {Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint and Lansing Areas}

Family Fun in June 2015 in Southeast Michigan

I may be a little bias since it’s the month of my birthday, but June is the best month. Not too hot, not too cold; not too rainy. Everything is in bloom and beautiful. Also? There is TONS to do. Who else is excited for carnival season? Lots of great things coming up in this […]

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