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Friday, January 13, 2017

Printable Valentine Mystery Dinner Menus

Hey there! So now that you are all excited to plan a Valentine Mystery Dinner you will need some easy printable Valentine menus to go with it.  That's where I come in.  I've got you covered.  Print these free Valentine menus and you won't have to worry about a thing besides deciding what food you want to have.  These mystery dinner menus are perfect for a family Valentine dinner or a fun group activity.  See how we did it {HERE}.







Here's how you use these Printable Mystery Dinner Menus:


1.  Plan a menu with food that your family or group loves.  

2.  Use the menu guide (see image below) to assign each menu item a number and code name and fill it in on the menu guide.  This will help you as you serve the food for each guest.  You can even assign napkins, forks, and spoons a code name, for a very fun and mixed up dinner. Do not show this to your dinner guests!


3.  As everyone sits down to dinner, give each person a printable Mystery Dinner Menu.  Each guest picks 3 menu items for each course and writes the numbers of what they want in the box. It’s more fun if they only get to use each menu item once.  Guests will have fun guessing what they will be having for dinner.

4.  Gather the menus and starting with appetizers, fill each person’s plate with the items they chose and serve.  As they finish the first course, continue in the same way with the main course and then dessert.  It’s fun to see their surprise as they get each course.





This is the menu guide for you to keep track of the code names/numbers you assigned to each food or item.




This is the menu for your guests to fill in.  They pick numbers on the left to go in the boxes on the right for each of their courses.









I hope this helps you have a super fun Valentine activity with your friends or family!  Happy Love Day!





For more information on how we used our menus and did our Valentine Mystery Dinner click to the PREVIOUS post:










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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Valentine's Day Scattegories Free Printable

Our family loves the game Scattergories.  It's a perfect family game.  The kids can do it, and the adults don't get bored.  So for Valentine's Day this year, I have a Valentine Scattergories printable.  This is great for a quick game at any Valentine's party--school, friends, whatever!  And to spread the love, this Scattegories is a FREE PRINTABLE!





Click Below




How to play Scattergories:


1. Pick a letter of the alphabet (you can roll a alphabet dice or draw out of a hat).

2. Set a timer for 1 minute.

3. When the timer starts, players see how many categories they can fill up by thinking of answers that start with the chosen letter.  When the time is up, all players quit writing.  Then they go around the group, answering out loud what they got for each category.

4.  The player with the most answers wins the round.  There is 1 point per answer unless they come up with a viable answer that has two words that starts with that letter.  For example, if the letter was 'W' and the answer was "Wicked Witch" that would count for 2 points.  However, if it is something that doesn't necessarily go together such as "Wimpy Witch" then they would only get 1 point.

5.  Whether or not an answer is right or viable depends on the group you are playing with.  If something doesn't seem to fit the category or subject then the group can dispute it and vote on whether or not that person's answer deserves a point.


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Monday, January 2, 2017

Quick Drop Biscuits

I sometimes feel like the tutorials for making biscuits are way too complicated.  You have to make this perfect dough, then roll it out and then cut it into little shapes.  I just wanted a simple recipe for biscuits without all the rolling and complicated dough.  And this biscuit recipe is it!  These Quick Drop Biscuits are the easiest ever! They still look cute, and they taste amazing.  These biscuits are so fast, all you have to do is whip up the dough and plop them onto a pan!




My daughter adapted this recipe from a scout book.  She makes them all the time!




For this recipe all you need is oil, salt, flour, baking powder and milk.  Nothing weird that you don't have in your pantry, like buttermilk or whatever.





Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  Add the oil.  It's okay if the oil and flour are a little chunky at this point.





Add milk or water until the dough will hold together but isn't sticky.  (This is usually less than 2 cups.) You may want to knead the mixture with your hands a little to make sure everything mixes correctly.





Roll the dough into little balls with your hands and drop them on the pan.  Or simply plop them on for a fun natural drop biscuit look.





Cook at 350 for 10-15 minutes.  





Bam! You're done! Pull them right out of the oven and top them with butter, or have them with gravy, or chicken, or roast beef, or soup, or chili, or whatever you are having for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack!  These are so easy that my daughter makes them ALL THE TIME!







Quick Drop Biscuits
4 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 c.  oil
Milk or water until batter holds together but isn't sticky.  (Usually 2 cups or less.)

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add the oil.  Mix in the milk or water until the dough will hold together, but isn't too sticky.  Roll into balls and drop on a pan.  Cook at 350 for 10-15 minutes.




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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Sea Quest Interactive Museum and Aquarium Travel Review

Christmas Break is here, and we could not be more excited. But sometimes my kids get bored over the break, and it's hard to entertain them for such a long time.  Well, here's an activity that's super fun for kids, indoors (so you're not cold), and somewhat educational (but don't tell your kids that.) In Layton Hills Mall in Utah, there's a new museum and aquarium called Sea Quest Interactive Aquarium and it's AWESOME!!!  Your kids get to explore lots of different animals, and you get to be nice and warm inside.  Kids and parents alike get to touch, see, and feel.  It's so interactive.  They have sea animals as well as birds, lizards, turtles, and more.





Here's the pictures I took at SeaQuest during their opening event in November.  My kids had so much fun there (and my husband did too!).




Sea Quest has a whole bunch of sea animals.  And while you're there, you are allowed to touch and feed most of them.  The animals are all trained for months to interact safely with people.





In addition to the cute little sea creatures, they have lizards, turtles and snakes.  Many of them are in cages, but workers will hold some of the animals so your children can feel them.  They actually love human interaction.






My husband loves to scuba dive so he was in heaven.  Here he is "petting" the fish.







Sea Quest also has a ton of tropical birds.  My kids loved the parrot that the keepers let them hold.  There is a large bird room that you can enter and feed the birds. 






The art and scenery for each area is very detailed and fun, so you feel like you are in an exciting place, not just in a mall.







I could go on and on because it totally blew me out of the water (pun intended) and exceeded my expectations for a mall museum.  You'll love it!













SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium Utah in Layton Hills Mall offers a completely interactive, hands-on learning experience with opportunities to:

Explore: Exhibits featuring sea life, rainforest reptiles, tropical birds and vast desert species.

Discover: Feed and interact with over 300 species and 1,500 animals from regions all around the world.

Inspire: Learn more about the world we live in, as well as create lasting memories for the entire family and kids of all ages.








This was a fun, interactive aquarium for our kids.  It's a great solution to the vacation boredom, and best of all, the kids can learn something while you're at it.  I highly recommend this activity for the whole family!!!!






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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Making Life Blissful

Dear friends,

I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support this year.  I am thankful for each one of you that tries one of our recipes, makes one of my crafts, or reads my crazy thoughts.  This website would not be where it is without you!!  What started as a place to put my thoughts and ideas has turned into a place for me to help others and bring joy to this world.







I love Christmas and the holidays and I believe it truly is a time to reflect on what makes us the most happy in life.  I have found my bliss from 2 main things: family and following the teachings of Jesus Christ.  These 2 things give me direction, purpose, and hope.  And they just make me purely happy.  I'm not perfect.  I never will be.  Life is hard.  Life often stinks.  But I believe life can be blissful too.  Why not?  Why does negativity and hard times have to be the dominate thing in our lives?  It doesn't.  We can find joy in the journey as we live each day.  It may not always work, but I'm sure gonna try.

Merry Christmas my friends!  And Happy New Year!





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Monday, December 19, 2016

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

Sometimes it's hard think of what to bring to a holiday party, isn't it?  Well, I've got your solution: Restaurant Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip from Amy J, our recipe contributor.  This dip is warm, savory and absolutely a hit at Christmas and New Years parties.  Served with chips or your favorite crackers it is just amazing.  It's perfect for the holidays when you want a yummy warm appetizer.  Here's how to make our DELICIOUS artichoke spinach dip:  








While living in Canada for 5 years we frequently went to dinner at Earl’s, a popular bistro with a cozy-metropolitan feel.  The food was fantastic and the atmosphere relaxing and hip.  Whenever friends and family came north to visit, we took them to Earl’s for a night out.  Each and every time we went to Earls, we ordered their famous Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip, served with warm corn chips.  Stop right there!  Yes, E.V.E.R.Y. time!  It was divine!  Everyone loved it!  It was bubbly and slightly charred on top… a cheesy wonder, full of delish chunks of artichoke and pieces of bright green spinach.  There was layer, on top of layer, of savory garlic with a hint of spice, and Parmesan.  The texture was creamy-smooth and cheesy, NOT pasty like some hot artichoke dips I’ve had.  The creamy texture did not change as the dip cooled either…You know what I mean…you’ve had hot dips that cool and become clumpy, lumpy, pasty, cheese spackle…ICK!  NOT Earl’s!  It was perfect!!

For years since we moved back to the states, I have tried to duplicate their spinach artichoke dip.  After dozens of failed attempts and trying/altering recipes.  THIS IS IT!  It’s spot on!  Every time I take this appetizer to a party, countless people beg for the recipe.  It’s a FAV!  Enjoy!

NO-cheesy-spackle!

Love and artichokes,
Amy J

*Give credit where credit is due: To make this recipe, I altered a recipe I found on-line for California Pizza Kitchen’s Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip.





This step makes a huge difference!  Don’t rush the onions!  Take it slow!  This step gives the artichoke dip an increased layer of roasted onion/garlic goodness!

In heavy saucepan over med-low heat, slowly sauté oil, butter, and onion until onion is clear…about 5-10 minutes.  Add garlic and continue cooking over med-low heat for 2 minutes…do not brown onions and garlic. 

Let’s make a roux! 





Sprinkle flour into onion mixture.  Cook while stirring until mixture turns a golden-brown color…approx 5 minutes. 






Slowly add chicken broth…the mixture will appear clumpy and pasty at first…don’t worry…it will turn out perfect.  Keep stirring…keep pouring in the chicken broth…






Cook, whisking constantly until mixture is smooth.  See?!  No need to worry about the pasty, clumpy mixture!  It smooths out perfectly!







Bring mixture to a simmer.  Stir in cream.  Keep pot on the stove. While stirring, return mixture to a simmer.  Remove from heat and add Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and sugar.  Stir until combined.







Add sour cream, spinach, artichokes and jack cheese.  Stir until all ingredients are combined and cheese is melted.

Transfer to a baking dish. 






Just before serving, place baking dish under the oven broiler until top is broiled bubbly/brown as desired.  Serious deliciousness here folks!

Serve with corn chips or pita chips.  Enjoy!













 Restaurant Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

2 Tb oil
2 Tb butter
¾ cup onion, minced
1 Tb minced garlic
¼ cup flour
1 ½ cup chicken broth
1 ½ cup heavy cream

¾ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 ½ Tb  fresh lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
¾ cup sour cream
10 oz frozen spinach, defrosted, rinsed, squeezed by hand, chopped
2- 14 oz cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup pepper jack cheese, finely grated.

*In heavy saucepan over med-low heat, slowly sauté oil, butter, and onion until onion is clear…about 5-10 minutes.  Add garlic and continue cooking over med-low heat for 2 minutes…do not brown onions and garlic. 

Sprinkle flour in and cook while stirring until mixture turns a golden-brown color…approx 5 minutes.  Slowly add chicken broth…the mixture will appear clumpy and pasty…don’t worry…it will turn out perfect.  Cook, whisking constantly until mixture is smooth.

Bring mixture to a simmer.  Stir in cream.  Keep pot on the stove…while stirring, return mixture to a simmer. 

Remove from heat and add Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and sugar.  Stir until combined.

Add sour cream, spinach, artichokes and jack cheese.  Stir until all ingredients are combined and cheese is melted.

Transfer to a baking dish. 


Just before serving, place baking dish under the oven broiler until top is broiled bubbly/brown as desired.  Serve with corn chips or pita chips.  Enjoy!





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