Best Historic Homes to Tour in Minnesota

{James J. Hill house}  The state of Minnesota has many beautiful historic homes that can be toured. Preserving these architectural landmarks and allowing new generations the opportunity to take a momentary peek into the past is important. The grandness of some of these prior residences is intense. Displaying wealth and status never seems to go out of style for some and while most of us live a more moderate lifestyle visiting this type of place can make for a fun afternoon outing.  James J. Hill House Pictured above, the James J. Hill House is a Gilded Age masterpiece. Located on … [Read more...]

Learning to Ski at Spirit Mountain in Duluth & a Ski Package Giveaway

This post is in partnership with the Midwest Ski Areas Association, all opinions are my own.  Duluth and the Lake Superior North Shore is such a great place to visit. Fall, spring and summer there are numerous trails for hiking and exploring. It's an outdoor lovers paradise! But what about winter? Recently my fellas and I visited Spirit Mountain and discovered just how much fun winter can be in Minnesota! Sometimes people assume that you need to travel to far off states in order to ski. But there is so much fun to be had close to home. According to the Midwest Ski Association, … [Read more...]

Air Fryer Orange Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Thyme

Air fryers are a new unique twist on some traditional cooking methods. I've had my air fryer for a while now and unfortunately I haven't had a chance to do much experimenting. But with the frigid temperatures and a very snowy February it is the perfect time to try some new recipes.  Sweet potatoes are such a healthy vegetable, but they do need quite a bit of "stuff" to give them some extra flavor. Of course, baking is a great option. But in the spirit of testing my air fryer I decided to modify a baked recipe into this version. It's worth noting that I did boil the potatoes ahead … [Read more...]

Cinnamon Jelly Heart Cupcakes

This post includes affiliate links. This past week we experienced what they call a polar vortex. Deadly cold temperatures, school canceled for four days straight. It was a good time to snuggle indoors. Luckily I had these cupcakes already prepared much to my youngest son's delight. The sight of sprinkles and candied Valentine hearts with frosting and cake immediately puts him in a good mood.  I used an ancient white cake recipe from one of my old church cookbooks. They can be so fun to look through and actually have some great recipes, especially those involving baked … [Read more...]

Easy Strawberry Angel Food Dessert

I've mentioned this several times, but my youngest son has an epic sweet tooth. Nothing delights him quite like a jar of Nutella and whipped cream. I don't typically plan desserts for my crew. Life is busy and dessert seems like an unnecessary extra. Of course, my youngest would definitely disagree with that statement, therefore I try to add-in some easy and simple desserts that I know will please him.  This dessert would be great to have on hand for easy entertaining as well. I purchased the angel food cake, but a step-up would be to make your own from scratch. I used Dolci Frutta … [Read more...]

Chicken Potstickers for Chinese New Year

This post was sponsored by Ling Ling, all opinions expressed in my post are my own. Chinese New Year is on February 5th this year.  Unlike Western society the first day of Chinese New Year is not a set date consistent every year, but instead begins whenever the new moon appears, sometime between January 21st and February 20th. Living in small-town Minnesota the Chinese culture is not at the forefront in our community. For me this is all the more reason to make sure that my fellas are exposed to and learn about this popular celebration.  As part of our … [Read more...]

Minneapolis Boat Show Ticket Giveaway

This post is in partnership with the Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show#mplsboatshow, all opinions are my own.  {photo courtesy of the Minneapolis Boat Show}  Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show is taking place again this year on January 24-27 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. To live in Minnesota is to love lake life. And in order to enjoy the lake at it's best you need a boat!  Whether you are a seasoned boat fan or new to lake life the Minneapolis Boat Show is a great way to to learn about all the newest models and technology. Leisure … [Read more...]

Artemis Fowl Inspired Rice Cereal Treats & a Giveaway

This post was created in partnership with Disney Book Group, all opinions are my own. There is sure to be Artemis Fowl mania with the upcoming release of the new major motion picture from The Walt Disney Studios. But before you see this new movie, spend some of the cold winter days rereading or getting caught up on this captivating middle-grade series about a twelve-year-old criminal mastermind and his discovery of the high-tech fairy world! The complete series is available now in stores in re-designed packaging and each book includes a sneak peek of The Fowl Twins, a brand-new … [Read more...]

Outdoor Play Ideas for Kids in Winter

This post is brought to you by Kamik, all opinions are my own.  {photo credit: Everlasting Love Photography} Minnesota is blessed to produce it's own innate since of fun in the winter months with typically an abundance of snow. It is cold outside. And it does get dark early. But winter is a great time for kids to still play outside.  As a kid I have found memories of making elaborate snow forts and of the countless hours I spent sledding with my cousins. Sometimes in our modern digital age I think we forget how important it is for kids to play with no embellishments. Let them create … [Read more...]

Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters Giveaway

“Abrams Books sent me a copy to check out and is partnering with me for a giveaway!” You already know Rosie Revere, Ada Twist, and Iggy Peck. Now join them for brand-new adventures in their debut chapter book series. Perfect for every family library! Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters The Questioneers Book #1 By Andrea Beaty, Illustrated by David Roberts In Stores Now Recommended for ages 6- 9 Published by Abrams Books The Questioneers series is a celebration of STEM, perseverance, and passion. Like its characters, Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere, and Ada Twist, every budding … [Read more...]

Reach to the Stars with Ready-to-Read Books!

This post has been created in partnership with Simon & Schuster, all opinions are my own. My two oldest boys have always been advanced readers. When tested at school, their lexicon scores always surpass their grade level. The understanding of words just comes to them naturally. It's almost effortless.  Then, there is my youngest. Reading has not come naturally to him. He has had to work hard to hit averages. Thankfully, he is a hard worker and is staying with the pack. My sense of mom guilt likes to take blame for his reading challenges. For sure, I didn't read to him as a … [Read more...]

I Come From Arizona with the Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis

While our tickets were complimentary, all opinions are my own.  It has been quite a while since the boys and I have visited the theater, so we were excited to see the newest feature from the Children's Theatre Company- I Come From Arizona. The theme of this play is such a great way to engage with children on this important and timely topic. The gist of it is this, Gabi, a Latina teen from south Chicago, tests into one of the top high schools in Chicago. A global perspectives class forces her to confront her mother about their entry into the US. Gabi has always been told by her … [Read more...]

The Storm Runner {a New Middle School Novel} & $50 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

Disney Book Group is partnering with me for a giveaway! The cozy fall days of the season are upon us. There is nothing better than getting snug by the fire with a good book! My eleven-year-old son recently discovered the new book The Storm Runner. It's a hit! Get the full synopsis below.  About the Book How can one boy with a limp stop the Maya god of death, disaster, and darkness from destroying the world? Zane has always enjoyed exploring the dormant volcano near his home in New Mexico, even though hiking it is challenging. He'd much rather hang out there with his … [Read more...]

Halloween Sprinkle Marshmallow Pops

These Halloween Sprinkle Marshmallow Pops are such an easy way to add some fun festive color to a seasonal party. Or if you are looking for an easy treat to make with little ones this is also a great option.  The process is pretty obvious. I stuck large marshmallows on {paper} straws. Then I heated some candy coating chocolate and simply dipped the marshmallows in the chocolate and sprinkled with the toppings.  … [Read more...]

A Cozy Fall Look with prAna

This post is in partnership with prAna, all opinions are my own.  And just like that fall is back in Minnesota. Last weekend I took the boys to an apple orchard and we sweltered in the 90+ degree heat. This week is a different story. I'm pulling out all of the clothing that involves layers. And I'm especially snug thanks to my new organic prAna sweater and pants.  This outfit is not only cozy, it's also made from organic cotton. Ethically-made clothing should be the standard in the apparel industry.  prAna considers the impact of their actions and lets their … [Read more...]