6 Summer Job Ideas for Teens

Summer is a great time for teens to make and save some money, rather than lie around watching TV and playing video games.  It is important to instill a good work ethic early on in a young person’s life, because this is a skill that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.  So what kind of job should teens consider?

6 Summer Job Ideas for Teens

Kids and Animals

Many teens earn extra money by sitting – babysitting, dog sitting, or house sitting.  Babysitting is a long-term job, but with spotty gigs.  So instead of relying on a parent’s date night for a few hours earnings look for full-time child care opportunities.  When school is out many parents will need a full-time sitter.  Many kids are in after school care within the school system which is not available when school is out.  Some kids are in daycare before and after school, but full-time daycare is very expensive, and having a teen come in is less so.  It’s a win-win situation.

Clean Up by Cleaning Up

For moms pressed for time, cleaning can sometimes get pushed to the back burner, so they need help or for those who just don’t like cleaning, you can be their answer to prayer and they can be your answer to a job.  Spread the work you are looking for a cleaning job.  You can conceivably clean multiple houses in a week.  Or look for a maid job at a local hotel.

Do as I Do

Another popular teen job is tutoring.  There are lots of things that a tutor can provide such as music lessons, help on A particular subject like math or English, or just refresher lessons to keep kids sharp for next school year.  You can teach swimming, riding, or SAT prep.  Let people know you are available through Facebook or neighborhood flyers.

The Great Outdoors

Lots of teens earn money in the summer by cutting grass.  It’s a hot job that some would rather pay someone to do it rather than do it themselves.  Other outdoor work is landscaping and weeding.  Some will want the basic grass job; others may want extensive work like weed eating, weeding flower beds, or planting shrubs or flowers.

Life Guard

Many times local pools have opportunities for teens working as lifeguards.  These jobs fill up fast, so apply early and take the required CPR and lifeguard course prior to applying.  You can work on your tan while providing a valuable service.  Another summer outdoor job is camp counselor.  This job will supply much more that a paycheck.  Working with kids at camp is an experience you will never forget and neither will they.  Get ready to be a kid’s hero.

Fun and Games

If there is an amusement park in your vicinity these present a huge number of summer jobs, from ride attendant to game booth operator.  Amusement parks also need character mascots, food service workers, shop workers, ticket takers, and more.  The jobs are abundant, but it’s fairly competitive, so, again, apply early.


Summer jobs are a classic, one that will be valuable in many ways, not the least of which is a boost to your resume.  Have fun and earn come cash this summer.



3 Super-Easy Microwave Meals

Though completely unknown 75 years ago, but introduced to homes everywhere in 1946, the microwave is still widely used for heating leftovers and defrosting freezer meals.  I imagine a select few are tapping into this most popular kitchen appliance’s potential, but if one of them is not you, sit back and listen.

3 Super-Easy Microwave Meals

Breakfast Meals

Strawberry and buckwheat breakfast bowls are a great source of protein, and they are glutton free.  This small breakfast packs a punch with four grains and loads of flavor.  It’s too good to be good for you, but it is.  Using a coffee cup or small bowl, combine ¼ cup of oat bran, 2 tbsp of oat flour, 2 tbsp of buckwheat groats, 1tbsp of ground flaxseed, ½ tsp of baking powder, ¼ tsp of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.  Add to dry ingredients 2 tbsp of unsweetened applesauce, ¼ cup of almond milk, and stir until all is incorporated, then gently fold in ½ cup of diced strawberries.  Microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds until top is cooked and cool for 2 or 3 minutes.

Lunch and Dinner

If you think you cannot cook fish in five minutes, think again.  The microwave is, if not the best, is one of the best time-savers in your kitchen.  For dinner, you can cook a one person portion of salmon in a red hot minute and have a healthy meal.  Okay, prep will add two minutes, but that is still fantastic.  This is a tasty, but no-frill recipe.

Rinse and pat dry one skin-on portion of salmon.  With the skin side down, place the salmon in a microwave-safe plate and season with salt and pepper to your taste.  Combine 2 tbsp of mayo, 1-2 tbsp of sriracha sauce (found in Asian grocery stores or in the ethnic section at your grocery store) in a separate bowl; then spread on the skin-off side liberally.  Next add lemon slices and parsley.  Wrap tightly with microwave-safe plastic wrap and microwave 3 ½ minutes; then using a fork, check the thickest part of the fillet for doneness.  If the fish does not flake easily, it needs another 30 seconds.  Garnish and enjoy with some red roasted potatoes.


A meal is not complete without dessert, so following on our theme of easy microwave foods, after the salmon it’s time to enjoy a little Minute Microwave Cheesecake.  This little sweetie is gluten and sugar-free, and vegetarian.

In a small microwave-friendly bowl combine 2 oz of softened cream cheese (can substitute low-fat), 2 tbsp of sour cream (can also substitute light), 1 egg (just egg white if you want), ½ tsp of lemon juice, ¼ tsp of vanilla, and 2 to 4 tbsp sugar substitute (adding a little at a time to taste.  Microwave cheesecake on high for 90 seconds, stirring at 30-second intervals until done.  Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.  For a bit more sweet, garnish with strawberries, whipped cream, or nut meal.

Now that you know what your microwave can do, faster meals are on the way!



Great Dips to Have at Any Party

Great Dips to Have at Any Party


Parties need great dips. Guests effortlessly add toppings to a spread of crudités and keep out of the kitchen while the main courses are being prepared. Here are some great dips to have on hand.



Store bought hummus is fine, but home made is better and super easy. In a food processor pulse together 2 cups of canned chickpeas (you can use dry, you’ll just need to soak them over night then simmer with water for about 4 hours), 4 garlic cloves, 1/3 tahini, juice from 2 lemons, a few dashes of hot sauce. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of water to thin the mixture, then add salt to taste and more of any one component as necessary. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top.

You can also fold in roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, chopped olives, or chili pepper paste for heat. Serve with pita chips, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, or broccoli.



Cheese dips are a classic party choice, but many favorites involve using processed cheese. For a natural version try this recipe:

Heat a tablespoon of each butter and olive oil in a cast iron skillet or oven proof pan. Sauté 3 1/2 cup of chopped onion until soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Halfway through you can sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of sugar for extra sweetness.

Remove the onions from the heat and stir in 8 ounces shredded gruyere cheese, 2 tablespoons of each mayonnaise, sour cream and scallions, and 6 bacon slices that have been cooked and chopped. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with some more shredded cheese and chopped scallions then bake the dip at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Broil the dip for a few minutes at the end to ensure a golden topping.

Serve with carrots, toasted bread slices, or broccoli.



A sweeter take on the classic spinach dip, this dip is easy to prepare. Thaw and squeeze the excess water from a 10 ounce package of frozen spinach. In a skillet, sauté 1 1/2 chopped onion (use 1 if you have large onions on hand), for about 25 minutes until soft and sweet. You can add 1 teaspoon of sugar halfway through for added sweetness.

Remove the onions from the heat and mix in the spinach. Then stir in 8 ounces of sour cream (you can substitute Greek yogurt if you’d like), squeeze of lemon, pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Adjust seasonings as desired. Serve with an assortment of vegetables and toast points.



The creaminess of the avocado in this dip pairs well with the saltiness of the bacon. Cook and chop 6 strips of bacon. Then chop 2 avocados, 1/2 red onion, 1 tomato and stir to combine. Squeeze in the juice of 1/2- 1 lime, add pepper to taste. Fold in the bacon and adjust seasoning accordingly. Enjoy with tortilla chips.


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Breakfast Sandwiches: Homemade Crowd Pleasers

Breakfast Sandwiches

You may be familiar with the breakfast sandwiches offered at your local fast food joint, but nothing beats a home-cooked meal. The recipe below is for a delicious bacon/sausage, egg, and cheddar cheese breakfast sandwich that everyone can enjoy. I make my breakfast sandwiches using everything bagels but feel free to substitute these for plain bagels, croissants, English muffins, Texas toast, or any type of bread you prefer.


Bacon/ Sausage, Egg and Cheese

What you will need (makes 4 sandwiches):

1 lb. bacon or sausage (links or patties)                4 Extra-large eggs

4 slices Cheddar Cheese.                                          4 Everything Bagels

1 large frying pan                                                     1 Grill weight (optional)

2 teaspoons vegetable oil                                        1 Spatula

Salt                                                                              black pepper



  1. Set frying pan on stovetop over medium heat.
  2. When hot, put 8 strips of bacon/ 4 sausage patties/ 8 sausage links in pan.
  3. If cooking bacon or sausage, I recommend allowing the meat to cook at least 4 minutes on each side. However if you like your meat more cooked, adjust the timing accordingly.
  4. Once cooked, remove bacon/sausage from frying pan.
  5. Next, slice bagels into 2 halves (tops & bottoms). Place 4 halves (2 tops & 2 bottoms) in frying pan, allowing bread to absorb some of the leftover bacon/sausage grease. If you have a grill weight, place weight on two of the bagel tops. Wait 25 seconds and place weight on remaining two bagels. Wait another 25 seconds and remove all bagel halves from frying pan.
  6. If you do not have a grill weight, use a spatula to press down on the bagel halves individually. When they are golden brown, remove from frying pan.
  7. Repeat steps 5 & 6 for remaining bagel halves.
  8. Once all bagel halves are removed, put 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in frying pan.
  9. Crack a total of 4 eggs in frying pan. Once the egg white turns a solid white color, use spatula to flip eggs. Cook to desired consistency, I prefer mine over-medium.
  10. Remove eggs from pan placing them 4 bagel half bottoms. Immediately place 1 slice of cheddar cheese on top of egg. Sprinkle salt and pepper as desired over egg and cheese. Then, place 2 pieces of bacon/1 sausage patty/2 sausage links on top of the cheddar cheese.
  11. Cover with bagel half top.
  12. Let cool 45 seconds before serving. Enjoy!


While this recipe is strictly meat, eggs, cheese, and bread, feel free to add your favorite vegetables to suit your palate. I recommend using spinach (either raw or cooked), tomatoes (raw or cooked), avocado, and onions. Feel free to experiment with different vegetables to find a unique breakfast sandwich that you love.




The Ultimate Protein Smoothie Recipes

Oatmeal and eggs may be great breakfast foods, but there's no better way to start your day than a great protein-packed smoothie. It boosts energy, aids in critical thinking, and keeps you full until your lunch break. You can include fruits and vegetables in there to get your daily nutrients. Whether you're trying to build muscle or lose weight, protein is a great way to help you get in shape.

An ideal way to make a protein smoothie is to use fruits, vegetables, soy or almond milk, and a little scoop of protein powder if you want. You can get protein powder at your local grocery store or pharmacy. If you're not into using a powder, the smoothies themselves provide a good amount of protein from the soy and almond milk alone.


Sarah's Protein Smoothie

This is the ultimate breakfast protein smoothie. You're getting over ten grams of protein plus two servings of fruits and vegetables. You can also add in protein powder for a little extra boost; the soy milk and ice cubes keep it from getting that grainy texture. Blend and enjoy!

  • Toss a handful of spinach, two cups of soy milk, and a banana into the blender. Blend for a minute.
  • Add ice cubes to cool it down and put it on the "crush" setting for a minute. If you don't have an "ice crush" setting, just blend for an additional few minutes.
  • You can add protein powder in here for a little extra kick.


Blueberry and Kale Protein Smoothie


This combines the protein of almond milk plus the nutrients and antioxidants found in berries and kale.

  • Blend a cup of frozen blueberries, a cup of kale, and two cups of soy milk or almond milk.
  • Add two ice cubes if it's not cool enough, but the blueberries should cool it down pretty effectively.


Strawberry and Egg White Protein Smoothie

Egg whites are another great way to get more protein into your diet. If you don't have the time every morning to make an egg white omelet, you can always throw some egg whites into your smoothie.

  • Blend 2/3 cup egg whites, one and a half cups of strawberries, a cup of ice cubes, and a few teaspoons of mint or fresh basil.
  • If it's not sweet enough, you can always add organic honey or maybe even a little bit of brown sugar.


Greek Yogurt Protein Smoothie

We all know the benefits of Greek yogurt: it's a high-protein, low-fat food loaded with helpful probiotics for digestion. You can also use it in smoothies as a replacement for soy milk or almond milk.

  • Combine a cup and a half of Greek yogurt with two cups of fresh or frozen fruit. Blend on high.
  • Add ice cubes if you're using fresh fruit.


You can also customize these recipes for your taste to make the ultimate protein smoothies for you and your family. If blueberries are in season, you can substitute them for strawberries or another ingredient. It's fun to experiment with protein smoothies for a healthy breakfast.