With Father’s Day right around the corner, I’ve got a fun and unique gift idea. It even includes amazing blueberry lemon cheesecake bars.
This post is in partnership with Minute Maid. I am beyond thrilled to work with a company I absolutely love and believe in!
Father’s Day has turned into an interesting occasion since I lost my Dad to cancer a few years ago. Our focus has turned more towards celebrating my husband Josh. But there’s one person that is relatively new to our family that needs to be recognized – our JJ’s group home dad. (ouch – that still kind of hurts typing it out)
I’ll never forget how I felt the day our J was born. He was our first. All my dreams came true with him. My beautiful blue-eyed boy. I was excited to see Josh be a dad. That was, after all, one of the things that won me over. I saw the way he was around kids and it melted my heart. Becoming parents was a such a big transition for us. We had no idea what we were doing and had to figure things out together. Little did we know what our sweet boy had in store for us. He was happy and adorable. Around the time I was getting ready to deliver his sister, we noticed that things something was different. And right after Julia was born J was diagnosed with autism. Over the years we’ve experienced high highs and low lows with our special guy. He has taught us what unconditional love is – as he lives it every second of every day. He has also taught me to not take the little things for granted. He works harder than anyone I know.
Fast forward to a couple of years ago, when we were at the lowest point in our family. As JJ had gotten older, he was stronger and some of his behaviors became overwhelming. We had to make some really tough decisions. J was to live outside our home. My best didn’t feel like enough. The one thing that gave me peace of mind is that I felt like the home he moved to was where he was supposed to be as soon as we stepped into it. Mr. W. has a lot to do with that. He is kind, compassionate, advocates for the kids he cares for. It takes a village to make things run smoothly with several boys in his homes but we know that he wants what’s best for JJ. And that calms my momma heart.
To show my gratitude, I put together a “reverse” care package for him. Remember my “one in a melon” care package for my Mom? Mr. W is the next person on my list to show my appreciation to. With the help of Minute Maid, I hope to brighten his day the way he brightens mine. A “reverse” care package is a care package that’s sent to someone like your mom, dad, or someone who is used to taking care of others. You let them know that they are #doingood!
The idea is that Mr. W. took our lemon of a situation (we really just didn’t know what to do and were desperately trying to help our boy) and made lemonade. He made our life sweet again. He made J’s life sweet again. For this care package I included:
- New Minute Maid Blueberry Lemonade
- Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars (recipe below!)
- “You make our life sweet” printable letter (below)
- cute cup for the lemonade
- bag of bright colored sweet and sour candy
I decorated the box with some scrapbook paper and printed out “we are grateful for you” and adhered it to the inside of the box flaps.
Download this “You make life sweet” printable letter.
You can use the letter to fill out and send to anyone to let them know that they are #doingood. I love how it looks folded up with the printing on top so that’s how I left it in the package.
Now if you really want to go the extra mile, you can make these amazing blueberry lemon cheesecake bars:
They don’t take a ton of work and are worth every second of it. It’s a really quick way to make a version of cheesecake.
Lemon Cheesecake Bars
- ½ c. butter, melted
- 1 package yellow cake mix
- ½ c. sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
- 1 TBSP lemon zest
- 3 TBSP Blueberry Lemonade Minute Maid
- 1½ c. blueberries
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line 13x9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides to use later as handles.
- Melt butter in a large bowl and add cake mix plus ONE egg.
- Beat in a mixer until well blended.
- Press ⅔ of dough into the lined pan.
- Beat softened cream cheese and sugar with mixer until blended.
- Add the other egg, juice and lemon zest.
- Mix well.
- Pour mix over crust.
- Top with blueberries.
- With the remaining dough, smush with your fingers and press into cream cheese in between blueberries.
- Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool completely.
- Lift foil out of the pan.
- Cut into bars and serve.
I used the new Minute Maid Blueberry Lemonade to give it even more blueberry and lemon flavor. The end result was so so so good. The standard recipe uses lemon extract.
This Father’s Day, I’d love for you to think of the father figures in your life who have made an impact on you. Get a care package together to help shine a light on all the great things they do.
Visit MinuteMaid.com/carepackage to find even more ways to remind all parents they are #doingood. You could also win a magical Walt Disney World vacation from Minute Maid! Visit minutemaid.com/doingood for details.
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