How To Recreate The Summer Games In Your Own Backyard

I’m excited to be partnering with Meijer this summer to celebrate the summer games. Check out our fun idea and more ideas from other bloggers on the Meijer website!

Every four years, countries get to show off their best athletes in the Summer Games. The whole world watches as athletes in numerous sports compete in hundreds of events over a few weeks time. People enjoy supporting athletes from their country as they watch the games in person or on television. To make the time even more magical for my kids, I thought it would be fun to host our own ‘summer games’ in our backyard.

To start we took a look at all of the sports that athletes can compete in and picked a handful that we could easily recreate. We had everything we needed for soccer, golf and badminton and headed to Meijer for everything else. We found a great inflatable basketball hoop and pool diving sticks that would work for a relay race so we added basketball and track & field to our summer games list.

Once we had the sports chosen we needed to make two things for our summer games- the torch carried during the opening ceremony and medals for the winners. Both are simple crafts that can be made with items you probably have at home already. Here is what you will need to make each and the directions to make them.


  • Cardboard tube (we used the tube from TP rolls)
  • Tissue paper (red and orange)
  • Tape
  • Aluminum foil
  • Scissors

To make the torch

  • Tear off a piece of aluminum foil that is slightly larger than your cardboard tube
  • Roll the foil around your tube, completely covering it
  • Tuck the foil over the edges on each side and into the cardboard tube
  • Cut your tissue paper pieces into four equal squares
  • Pick four pieces of tissue paper and stack (we used 2 orange pieces and 2 red pieces)
  • Grab the pile from the middle by pinching it and pick up
  • Twist the middle together
  • Put tape on the twisted end and insert into the top part of your tube, taping it inside the tube
  • Fluff the tissue paper so it looks like fire


  • Lid from canister (we used lids from canisters of chips)
  • Hole punch
  • Aluminum foil
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
To make the medals
  • Punch a hole in the lid
  • Tear off a piece of aluminum foil that’s a little bigger than the chip canister lid
  • Wrap the foil up around the lid and onto the back
  • Poke a hole in the foil where it is in the lid
  • Cut ribbon pieces and insert through the hole and tie together at the end

Once we had made our torch and medals we started our summer games. They walked around with the torches to signify the beginning of the games. Then it was time to play. My sports loving boys had so much fun. Their favorite activity was basketball since they got to use our new basketball hoop.

Once the sports were done it was time to pass out medals. Our summer games was the perfect family activity for a warm, summer day. We decided we are going to do this again soon and add a few sports -like gymnastics- to the competition list.

What sports would your family include in your own backyard summer games?

Finding Energy Without Caffeine

Thanks to Meijer for sponsoring this “healthy me” conversation. I am not a medical professional and nothing written in this post should be taken as medical advice.

A few months ago I cut down my espresso filled drink intake from one to two Venti sized drinks a day to only one or two a week. My wallet is thanking me but I’ve definitely felt the impact on my body. I have a hard time staying up as late as I used to and when I don’t have the caffeine I feel very sluggish.

As a mom of two, always on the go boys, I can’t be anything but on top of my game. I decided to try some alternate ways of getting energy.

Water. I drink very little water at the moment but that needs to change because I know I’d feel a lot better if I was hydrated. I sit at a desk all day long so to increase my water intake I’m going to keep a water bottle on my desk all day. I picked up a pretty pink one at Meijer and it has an easy snap top so I can quickly open and close it.

Exercise. It’s time to admit to myself that I will probably never make it to the gym and I can probably ditch my gym membership. It’s not that I don’t WANT to workout. It’s just that between my kids and all their sports and activities, my full time job, my blog (which is like a second full-time job), and running a household I’m lucky to get in a shower, let alone find an hour or more to drive to the gym and get a decent workout in. With all that said, I can find ways to exercise during the day and have started taking walking breaks every hour or so. I get up and spend five minutes rushing around my house- picking up stuff, walking around for no reason, and giving myself a chance to stretch out. These short breaks make it easier for me to concentrate when I come back to my computer and have me feeling refreshed.

Supplements. I am horrible at remembering my daily vitamin so this is going to be another thing that sits next to my computer. I even found a vitamin labeled “energy” that has extra “B” vitamins and Ginseng. The Centrum Specialist Supplement is caffeine free which means I can get all of the benefits of caffeine without the side effects. Another supplement that seems like something worth trying is the NatureMade VitaMelts. The Energy one is a Vitamin B supplement and would be perfect for that mid-afternoon pick me up. Meijer has a whole aisle of vitamins and supplements so you can work with your doctor to find the right one for your needs.

Sleep. The to-do list never goes away and staying up until the wee hours of the morning isn’t going to do me any good. Eight hours of sleep for me isn’t realistic but I am going to aim for seven. I got some Melatonin which I might take on particularly stressful days because otherwise I will stay awake worrying and thinking.

So there you have it. Four things I’m going to try to boost my energy in hopes of a healthy and happy 2015. If you have any tips for me on how you find energy without caffeine I’d love to hear them!

Meijer’s “Most Likely To” Photo Sweepstakes

(Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.)

Finish this sentence….”my child is most likely to…..”

What comes to mind first? For Jacob I’d say, “find something he is passionate about and get a Doctorate in it” and for Lucas I’d say, “be a fashion designer and develop a line of pink clothes for boys/men”.

It’s kind of fun to think about what they will be like when they get older. Meijer is inviting shoppers to post a photo that shows their kids’ unique talents and interests in becoming the next great valedictorian, athlete, humanitarian chef, etc., for the chance to win a $100 Meijer gift card (25 grand prizes). The ‘Most Likely To…’ photo sweepstakes runs from July 28 – Sept. 8, 2013.

Simply visit and submit a photo showing what your child is most likely to be when he/she grows up.

Canvas Prints From Meijer {Ready While You Wait!}

This morning while Jacob was at preschool I headed over to Meijer to order a canvas print. I had the picture on my flash drive and went to the photo department. In less than 5 minutes I had used the in-store kiosk (with the help of an employee) and ordered my canvas print. I assumed I would have to come back another day for it but one of the other employees asked me if I had any shopping to do and said they could have it done in half an hour. HALF AN HOUR. That’s quicker than it takes my pharmacy to fill a prescription!

We walked around the store for a while and got some Christmas odds and ends and a booster seat for Jacob and then headed back over to the photo department. The canvas print was finished and it had turned out great. The employee who rang me up shared proper cleaning techniques for canvas prints including this one: don’t use a wet rag. It might seem obvious to you all but not having any canvas prints I didn’t know that cleaning them with a damp cloth was a no-no. Good thing he told me because I would have been mad if I ruined my nice print by cleaning it the wrong way.

Overall, I was really happy with the service and the quality of the canvas that I received and I was extremely happy that I could get my print the same day that I ordered it. I got an 11X14 sized print but I think next time I order one I will choose a print that’s a little larger because I like to have bigger pictures on the wall as opposed to small ones.


Want to make one of your own?

Get 30% off all Gallery Wrapped Canvas Prints at Meijer November 27-December 3!

(Disclosure: I received a coupon to try out Meijer’s canvas prints but all thoughts are my own.)

Vitamin Shopping Made Easy At Meijer

I *know* I’m supposed to be taking vitamins daily. It’s been something that has been repeated to me multiple times since I was little- from my Doctors and my parents. But we all know that just because someone tells you something doesn’t mean you are going to do it.

When I think about why I don’t take vitamins it really comes down to me being lazy. Going to the store and looking at labels on vitamin containers trying to figure out which one is best for me doesn’t sound like fun. And supplements? Don’t even get me started on the anxiety that this aisle in the store gives me.

Supplements, supplements, and more supplements.....

So you can imagine when I heard about the Vitamin Finder on Meijer’s website I jumped at the chance to check it out. It was easy to do! I went to Meijer’s website, clicked on pharmacy at the top, clicked on vitamin finder, and then answered a short questionnaire. In less than 5 minutes I had a personalized recommendation guide of what vitamins I should be taking.

Headed to the store with my list I didn’t have to walk up and down the aisle debating between this brand and that brand…  I knew what I wanted, found them on sale (score!), chose vitamins for the rest of my family, and started the rest of my shopping. It was easy to do and if I were just going to the store to find vitamins I would have been out in a matter of minutes (the Easter basket stuff caught my attention this time).

*To learn more about Meijer’s vitamin finder and my experience in store you can view my whrrl story.

(Disclosure: I have been compensated by Collective Bias for my time but all thoughts about Meijer and the vitamin finder are my own.)