A Family-Friendly Adventure with Wizard Quest in the Wisconsin Dells

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I have received compensation for this post, all opinions are my own.  Solve the puzzle to free the wizards. Ultimately this is the heart of Wizard Quest. Of course included in this experience are secret rooms, clues, mystery, a ball pit, and magical worlds. Why didn’t they have something like this when I was a kid? My boys have no idea how lucky they are to experience such an amazing family-friendly place. Wizard Quest is family fun at it’s best. Using your brain instead of your brawn, every science and book-loving family is inclined to enjoy Wizard Quest. Last year we … [Read more...]

Summertime Reading with Scholastic & a Giveaway

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I created this post as a part of my partnership with Scholastic, all opinions are my own. The parting of July can feel like the end of summer in many regards. School supplies are prominent at stores and back-to-school commercials are abundant on TV. For some areas the school year will officially begin the first week of August. Luckily for my crew, summer isn’t really over. We have the full month of August to relish in all those last sunny moments. We spent the sweltering days of July busy with a multitude of activities.   Swimming, camping, bike riding—these are the … [Read more...]

Rides, Slides, Spills, & Thrills: Noah’s Ark Waterpark

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I received compensation for this post, all opinions are my own. My two older son's have summer birthdays and will turn eleven and eight respectively.  I occurred to me the other day that my time with them is starting to essentially countdown. Yes, I have lots of years left with them at home. Yes, counting down can be somewhat dramatic. But to a mom sometimes each birthday can be a year closer to them moving out. It's important during these years to have experiences and memories that will last a lifetime. For my boys Noah's Ark is a destination that incites cheers and … [Read more...]

A World Full of Play at the MN Children’s Museum & a Giveaway

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This post was created as a part of my ambassadorship with the Minnesota Children's Museum.  My children live to play. One of my five-year-old son’s favorite pastimes is to fight imaginary bad guys. They could be robots. They could be monsters. I have a hard time determining exactly “who” these guys are all the time. But what I do know is that he considers it an awful day if he doesn’t have the opportunity to play this imaginary game. At the heart of the MN Children’s Museum is a commitment to encouraging play. It seems so simple, right? Children love to play. But in today’s … [Read more...]

Sautéed Peas with Parmesan & a Giveaway

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I received the following product for review purposes, all opinions are my own.  When I was growing up frozen peas were not a stable. Fresh peas were abundant from my mother’s garden. Unfortunately I did not inherit her green thumb, so frozen peas are my children’s reality. Lacking the fresh vibrant taste of newly picked peas, I endeavor to add some flavor to our frozen variety by sautéing them with enhancing ingredients. A little salt, pepper, Parmesan, onions and butter can add make a typical bag of these vegetables come to life. The latest enhancement to my sautéing is … [Read more...]

Behold the Mysterious at Ripley’s Believe It or Not in the Wisconsin Dells

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I have been compensated for this content, all opinions are my own. Ripley's is the stuff of little boys’ dreams. Full of mystery, amazing artifacts, historical items, and even just plain gross things, I’ve never been to a place quite like this. Ripley’s claims to have everything odd, weird, and unbelievable, this is certainly true. Last summer we visited the Ripley’s Believe It or Not site in the Wisconsin Dells for the first time. It was so much fun. I can’t deny I was as dazzled as the kids. I had never been to a place like this before. The museum is divided into different galleries … [Read more...]

Stay Wild, Stay Wacky, Stay Wonderful, Stay AmericInn & a Giveaway

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I have been compensated for this post, all opinions are my own. It's summertime! That means it's time for fun road trips and vacations. Whether you prefer to keep it local and visit attractions nearby, or if you like to trek across the country with a car full of supplies and family, summer is all about unwinding and enjoying the sites.  Throughout the years I've had an opportunity to see lots of wild, wacky, and wonderful sites. Traveling with kids is always an adventure. Here is a list of some of our highlights. I'll confess, some of the destinations were not necessarily wacky or … [Read more...]

Power Up & Read this Summer with Scholastic!

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This post was sponsored by Scholastic to encourage children to read during the summer months, all opinions are my own.  School is officially out for the summer. My boys were super happy to end another successful year of school. No more homework. No more worksheets. No more early mornings. But this relaxed time of year can onset the "summer slide". No, it's not an amusement park ride. The "summer slide" is learning loss that kids experience when they don't stay in school continually. Essentially some of that valuable information they learn gets tossed out of their brains during this … [Read more...]

Create Your Own Meal of Choice at Chipotle

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I have been compensated for this post, all opinions expressed are my own.  I remember the first time I ate at a Chipotle. It was before kids, meaning it was a whole other world. Picky eating didn't really play a part in that experience. Fast-forward around ten years later and now I have three little boys. Eating out with children is an entirely different experience. As my boys get older their preferences are developing. For instance my 10 year old he becoming more distinct in his choices. He used to like fish. He used to like taco seasoning. Now he refuses to eat either. Such is … [Read more...]

Calling All Bloggers! SoFabUOTR Minneapolis 2015

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Calling all bloggers in the Minnesota and Wisconsin area! SoFabU on the Road is coming to Minneapolis in August!  What is SoFabU on the Road? It's a one day blogging conference designed to inspire, educate and bring a sense of community to the somewhat isolated world of blogging.  What is SoFabU? This term refers to Social Fabric University, the social media influencer education component of Social Fabric. This online education community is full of amazing classes on a wide variety of topics- storytelling, SEO, photography and Instagram- the list just keeps growing. … [Read more...]

Exploring Byodo-In Temple, Kahaluu, O’ahu, Hawaii

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At first glance Byodo-In Temple appears to be a magical, imaginary place. Surely nothing this beautiful and idyllic can be for real. Yet within the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park exists this otherworldly place.  Byodo-In Temple was our first destination on O'ahu and was well worth the visit. It doesn't take very long to walk around the grounds, but the beautiful colors and construction add to the allure of this tropical area.  Created in 1968 to honor Japanese immigrants in Hawaii, this temple is a smaller replica of a temple in Uji, Japan.  With … [Read more...]

Angel On My Shoulder: Summer Camp Helps Kids Affected by Cancer

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School is nearly out for the summer and my boys are very excited. They can't wait to take swimming lessons, play soccer, and attend summer camp. My little fellas summer experience is the sort of traditional fun that kids enjoy. This summer other kids will have the opportunity to attend a special camp of a different sort. Angel On My Shoulder is a summer camp created specifically for kids affected by cancer.  Cancer. It's such an ugly word. To live is to have your life affected by this nasty disease. At some point or another everyone is bound to know someone struck by this illness. My … [Read more...]

Three Reasons to Replace Your Print Book with Kobo Glo HD

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Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Kobo and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own. Some habits are hard to break. I did not grow up in the digital age. I learned to type on a typewriter. This "thing" called the internet emerged when I was in college.  That being said, I now own tablets, computers and a handy smartphone. I even own a blog...as you might have noticed. But there are certain areas in my life that I have resisted technology. I still prefer to write my grocery lists on … [Read more...]

Tips to Keep Your Kids Reading During the Summer Months with Scholastic

greatgreeneheist

This post was sponsored by Scholastic to encourage children to read during the summer months, all opinions are my own.  The lazy days of summer are just around the corner. It's actually been warm enough in Minnesota to make me think it's summer already. My boys are getting anxious for the end of school and they have already asked several times if we can bring out the sprinkler. Frolicking in the spraying water is a sure sign of the season, but we haven't indulged in this pastime yet.  Since my boys are getting older their summer reading experience has evolved. While my … [Read more...]

SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium in the Mall of America® Giveaway

minnesotasealifeexperience

One of our favorite places to visit in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area is SEA LIFE Minnesota.  This aquarium on the bottom floor of the Mall of America is full of a variety of sea animals. My boys get so excited to see sharks, lots of varieties of fish, sea turtles, jellyfish, sea horses, and giant crabs.  The winter months can be long in Minnesota and it isn't entirely feasible to spend a great amount of time outside. Visiting SEA LIFE is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon. Since we have a membership we visit this nearby destination quite frequently. I highly … [Read more...]