A BBQ Beautiful Summer

When I think of summer, BBQs come to mind immediately. This was especially challenging when we lived in New York City. Not only did we not have a grill, but we didn’t have a deck or a backyard to grill on in the first place. We got creative by packing picnics and heading to Governor’s Island or Central Park on the weekends, but it really wasn’t the same. One of the first investments we made once we got to California was a nice Weber gas grill.

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BBQing and eating out back on our teeny patio has made for some of the most spectacular family memories this summer. The food is almost always good (admittedly we need some practice with temperature), the cleanup is ridiculously easy, and the kids are always into changing up the normal dinner routine. A good meal and wonderful, whimsical family memories are made on these nights, some of my most favorite of all time. When it comes to shopping for these dinners, I don’t worry much about cost as the ingredients are usually pretty basic. Meat, fish, poultry and vegetables plus a bit of lemon and seasoning is generally all we use. My market list doesn’t leave me sweating about the budget, and I can almost always count on Zoe coming with me to the store with our list for the evening or weekend dinners, and I always use my American Express Everyday Credit Card because I get double points on groceries from our local market, and we’re stockpiling these points to put towards a family vacation. I’ve never been one to budget much, but this card has incentives that I can’t pass up.

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Admittedly, I splurge on our weekly grocery runs. I don’t clip coupons and I buy mostly organic,as I love to cook, eat, and serve my family good food. Buying fresh produce and making balanced, nutritious meals is a definitely a creative outlet for me, and one that I enjoy quite a bit even though it ends up being fairly expensive. When I think about the fact that my points are doubling and accumulating, and I’m earning rewards on things that I would be spending my money on anyway, that Amex Everyday card becomes the perfect enabler. I’m ok with that.


There truly isn’t anything better than quality time with my family, and I know that we will almost certainly have fun BBQsi and outdoor eating whenever the weather permits. The kids appreciate a change in meal routines, and Justin and I appreciate the good food with very little cleanup involved. While I know that these days are somewhat limited to summers, it makes me appreciate and enjoy them even more. Making memories with my children is what life is all about, and I love even more not sweating the bill when it’s all over.

I was selected by American Express to help educate consumers about the Amex EveryDay Credit Card. As such, I was paid for my services, but tips and opinions shared about and American Express and the Amex EveryDay Credit Card are my own.

Join the Conversation


  • I enjoy hearing about your family. However, like most successful bloggers, your blog posts become soap boxes for your advertisers and you lose the spirit of your original intent .
    You know how you quit buying a magazine because it appears as if it is all ads? That is the way I am feeling about your blog.


    • Agreed. Every single post lately. I’m happy your blog is successful, but its getting hard to read…..

    • Thank you for your honesty. I agree that there is unfortunately a higher ratio of sponsored to editorial and I’m trying very hard to weigh it in the other direction. I try to keep it the other way, and have for years, but I have struggled to find the time and balance in more than one way, but I am working on it.

      A benefit of exposure is the attention it allows me to raise funds for other human beings (World Vision and this month, Blogust with Shot at Life, and of course the thousands I have personally raised for the Santa Cruz SPCA and animal shelters nation wide. Not to mention, I’m able to support my own family and I’m really, really grateful for the opportunity to do so.

      I do appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read what I have been publishing. Trying to find this balance amongst everything that is going on hasn’t been a very easy road, but I make sure that I only work with companies that I use in my life, with authentic stories every time.

      Thank you again and I hope to see you again in the future.

    • Hi Jean,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I’m sending you an email! I appreciate your feedback.

  • Hi Jessica,
    I love your blog and pictures. I never felt your blog was filled with AD’s. I support and appreciate everything you do, especially your work for animal shelters. Come on people! I think people complaining about ads are being too much. Let’s put this into perspective. We love Jessica & Family! Keep going with your great work! We love and appreciate you! We love Theo & Beau & You!

  • Hi Jessica,
    I love your blog and pictures of Theo, Beau, and your family. All this complaining about too much ads is, I think, nonsense. Please! Let us remember what is important, let us remember what we love and appreciate about the Theo & Beau log, and let us remember all the work that goes into sharing with us peace, beauty, calm, love, things that makes our days happier and worthier.

    You know, I never felt your blog was over-filled with AD’s. I support and appreciate everything you do, especially your work for animal shelters. Come on people! I think people complaining about ads are being just over too much. Let’s put this into perspective. We love Jessica & Family! Keep going with your great work! We love and appreciate you and your work! Thank you for sharing!


  • Jessica,
    I see nothing wrong with your blog, personally. I see you bringing things to peoples attention that may not know about these items otherwise. If you’ve tried them, can give your honest opinion and be compensated as well, more power to you. I don’t think you would put something out there unless you had personally tried it for yourself just to be compensated in return.

    I’ve been enjoying your blog and photos for months now and they bring a little bit of sunshine to a sometimes stressful day. It’s at the point right now in the office to see who sees your post first and we run to each others office to let each other know it’s up.

    There will always be naysayers in whatever you do. I for one will continue to read and enjoy what’s happening in your life, vicariously, and hope I can one day follow your example with all the good work that you do.

  • I enjoy reading about your lovely family and seeing you enjoy life. I truly love how you capture the joys of life in pictures and words. You have a purpose in life and you are doing everything you can to make it happen and that should be respected. I don’t mind the AD’s you have to make a living just like I have to make a living. Your support for charity should inspire others.

  • I also enjoy reading your blog and seeing pics of Theo (I’m a dog lover and rescue mama) and of course your family too. I also realize in reading that in a way, you’re talking to your audience as friends. I know if I find something useful or interesting or fun, I talk to my friends about it. If it’s something that has enriched my life, I also want to share that. And yes, many times, my conversations include “I got this at Target so you should go buy it too” or “I used my AMEX points to buy this really cool thing so all my spending is actually a good thing!” I don’t see why there is anything wrong with that at all-it’s the reality of the situation. If you didn’t include this information, you would probably be barraged (like you are about the kids’ clothes and your blankets) about where you bought something and how can we all get our hands on it!

    I love your writing and the stories you tell. Thank you.

  • Hi Jessica,
    As a working mom I appreciate your endorsements and comments about brands and companies. It saves me time!! If they “reward” you, great. Following your blog is a joy and an honor.
    Continued blessings!!

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