Monthly Archives: September 2014

Family Couchday 2.0

Guest contributors Romy Raad and Natalie Neumann (Rad & Neu) are culinary adventurers who look at food the same way we look at the couch- as something that promotes happiness and brings us closer together. We are pumped to feature them here- head over to their blog for full version of this story (with recipes!) and a ton of other intriguing foodventures!

Shawny Nelson

We, Romy and Natalie from radandneu.com, were absolutely thrilled to spend a funday with Shawny and his family in his beautiful countryside farmhouse!

Couching n’ Snacking was the theme of the day – by joining forces we created a joyful family outdoor experience, featuring four of our healthy, kids-friendly radcipes and some fabulous Lovesac products.

Kids cooking Kids cooking Kids cooking Kids cooking

We prepared the snacks together with the kids, who discovered the fun of cooking as a team, while learning how each ingredient adds some magic to the plate.

Thanks to Shawny’s outdoor lounge area, a regular couch afternoon was turned into a beautiful and lively outdoor experience – enjoying delicious finger foods with a side of sea breeze.

Lovesac Outdoor Sactionals Lovesac Outdoor Sactionals Lovesac Outdoor Sactionals Lovesac Buddah Bowl

The detailed recipes for the healthy bites can be found on our blog www.radandneu.com alongside other rad&neu insights!

DIY Games for Parties

Hello! Darleen here from Darling Darleen! I’m a friend of Shawn and call his wife one of my dear friends, and I’m excited to contribute this month to Life on a Couch.

This past weekend, we had a house full of family from out of town. Every evening after we’d get kiddos to bed, we’d all congregate around the couch and laugh the night away with a good old-fashioned game night. We’ve got a cupboard full of board games, but many times we keep the laughs abundant by just playing card games or classic games like Pictionary or charades.

Let's play!

All the essentials to get the games going!

It’s good to have a little healthy competition between family members or even friends! DIY games are a great way to liven people up, lighten the mood and get people talking. So when I host game night, I like to serve up easy-to-eat finger foods or party nibbles to keep attention on the game. I tend to go for the parlor food route and serve a cheese and meat plate along with a variety of nuts. Don’t forget the drinks!

Charcuterie!

Don’t forget the meat and cheese!

Some of our favorite games are DIY games, or ones that we make up because we usually have a large group, or maybe we’ve played it somewhere before but they usually aren’t in the books.

That's half the fun!

Make up the rules as you go along!

Here are a few game suggestions that will get you and your party rolling on the couch in laughter.

Don't hog the cheese!

Friends, food, and fun!

Nertz Playing cards—this is a great card game with multiplayer and a combination of Speed and Solitaire. It’s fast pace and quite addicting!

Scrabble with teams—each team begins with 7 letter blocks and makes words in a crossword fashion. Once one team using up all their 7 letter blocks, they shout out take two tiles and everyone takes two tiles from the center pile of upside-down word tiles and then continues to add the letters to their crossword. When the first team has used up all their game pieces and there are no more to draw, the game is over.

Dictionary—similar to Balderdash but you use a real Dictionary instead!

Bunco—it’s not just for girl’s night! A fun dice game to play with a group of people.

Things—Everyone writes out a response like “things you wouldn’t do in front of Grandma…” or “things you wouldn’t do in high school….” Then put it in a hat and everyone guesses who said what. Fun to make up your own prompts!

Headbands—the adult version of Hedbanz. It’s a silly game and we like to make up our own cards and usually tape to the back of a person. Good to play this game…while playing another game!

Enjoy playing your next DIY game night with friends or family! I’ve included in this post a generic score sheet that you can download and use for your game night party! You can download it here.

It's all about teamwork!

Team Scrabble

What are your favorite games to play for game night?

Couch Food: 7 Steps to Mac & Cheese Perfection

We’re all just looking for a little bit of comfort. [Guest contributor: Michael Majlak]

As someone who truly believes that a good meal can transform the human soul, I’ve been spoiled with a mother who can really kick it up a notch in the kitchen. I probably never really gave her the appreciation she deserves for creating some insanely impressive homemade dishes.

Dig in!

Comfort on a plate

It’s one of those cliché arguments you have with your friends as a kid, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. Every child should go through their adolescence thinking that their mom is the best cook in the entire universe. I can remember almost getting into physical fights with other kids that thought their mom made better meatloaf than mine!

One dish my mom has had perfected since my birth was this gooey, ridiculously delicious Mac & Cheese. Since we’re quickly slipping into the season for food that will keep us warm, I thought now would be the right time to bring you the recipe for a plate that anyone can make- and EVERYONE will enjoy. My mom, Robin, walked me through the whole process in 7 simple steps and I’ve laid them out below with some pictures to get your mouth watering just a bit. Throw on some sweatpants, follow the recipe, and bring a big bowl of this cheesy masterpiece back to your couch for an ultimate comfort session!

Just don’t try to say yours came out better than my mom’s…

SO MUCH CHEESE!

Gather your ingredients

Robin’s Mac & Cheese aka: the ultimate comfort food!

  • 1 lb. Cavatappi Pasta
  • 6 oz. Gruyere Cheese
  • 1 small onion
  • 12 oz. New York Extra Sharp Cheese
  • 3/4 stick butter
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  •  2 cups milk
  • 3 Tbs. flour
  • 1/2 cup Panko Crumbs
The beginning of something great!

Boil some pasta

  1. Preheat oven to 375º
  2. Bring water to boil in large pot; add a splash of olive oil, cook pasta until almost cooked.
  3. Grate cheeses, nutmeg and chop onion.
  4. Melt butter in saucepan add finely chopped onion, cook slowly until onion is translucent. Add flour to butter/onion mixture and heat over low for 2 minutes stirring constantly.
  5. Heat milk in separate pan or microwave until hot.
  6. Add milk to pot with butter & onion and whisk until hot [do not boil]. Add cheeses, nutmeg, salt & pepper to mixture. Blend well and when smooth pour cheese sauce over pasta in casserole dish. Top with Panko, salt and pepper.
  7. Bake 30 – 35 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.
Gooey, cheesy goodness.

The money shot

Bout to get crusty!

Sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle that Panko

Just eat it all, who cares.

Bake it to crusty perfection

Enjoy!

— Michael Majlak

 

 

 

 

 

The Couch Life of a Modern Jacques Cousteau

But what if I fail?

That question is one of the biggest obstacles we face in our lives. That fear of not being good enough or smart enough or strong enough suffocates us and stomps out our ability to achieve our dreams. As children, we had high hopes and extreme visions for what we would do with our lives. Some of us wanted to be astronauts. Others wanted to be chefs, or doctors, or dog trainers. But at some point, out of fear of the unknown, many of us abandon our dreams and opt for something more “secure”. Instead of shooting for the stars, we decide to take the safer path in order to avoid the risk of falling up short.

On a recent Lovesac business trip to Salt Lake City I sat down with Brent Andersen, the founder of the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. After talking with Brent for a few minutes, I quickly realized he was not one of those people who took the safe road in life. Brent spent his childhood couch life being deeply inspired by  Jacques Cousteau and his underwater adventures. He created a strategy to build a chain of aquariums and a research vessel. His purpose: to help educate the world on our fragile ecosystem, with the notion that: “We are all connected,” and that we need to understand that.

Two entrepreneurs for the price of one.

Brent Andersen and myself at the Living Planet Aquarium in Utah.

Brent is an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur. Even in the face of every possible adversity, he pushed forward to achieve his ultimate vision.  As an entrepreneur Brent shared four things that were key to his ultimate success. 1. Think big 2. Persevere, no matter the cost. 3. Surround yourself with smart people, and other entrepreneurs. 4. Once you arrive, keep going.

His next step? Hopefully to take his dream to the next level, building more aquariums, and linking them with a network of exploratory ocean vessels roaming the world making new discoveries. Sound too ambitious? Too fantastic? It is. And that’s why I love this guy. The next Jacques Cousteau, and an inspiration to us all.

–Shawny
Founder, LOVESAC