Smart Pot Lemon Garlic Parmesan Risotto

 I have received compensation for this post, however all opinions are my own. Included within this post are affiliate links that help support my site.  If you ever visited Pinterest or if you have any interest in cooking, I'm sure you've heard of the an Smart Pot. It's the new trendy name for a pressure cooker. It's essentially a new take on a long old-time kitchen staple. Anything that is overly popular or currently in vogue is sure to leave me running for the hills. I innately resist succumbing to the generalized mindset of the masses, at least initially. However once the … [Read more...]

Camping & Backpacking PackPillow & a Giveaway

I have received compensation for this post, however all opinions are my own. It's winter in Minnesota and must of us are not camping, that is unless you are truly a hardcore outdoor lover. That being said the boys and I had a great summer camping at some of our favorite spots and we look forward to doing the same next year. But this coming summer we have a new camping essential on our packing list~ the PackPillow.  {Dreaming of summer fun and trying not to freeze.}  The PackPillow is more than just a pillow. It's a seat cushion, a backpack and a pillow all rolled into … [Read more...]

Tips to Help Kids Learn How to Tie Their Shoes

This post was created in partnership with Disney-Hyperion for the #ReadMo Ambassador program, all opinions are my own. It's officially winter time here in Minnesota. The ground is white, the air is freezing and we live most of our days inside now. Clearly I staged the photo above and below with our collection of Mo Willems books, but gathering all titles of from one of your favorite authors is a great way to spend a lazy winter afternoon.  One of the latest releases from the Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series is It’s Shoe Time! by Bryan … [Read more...]

Selecting a Baby Name

I have received compensation for this post, however all opinions are my own.  Trying to determine the name for your baby can be overwhelming. I might have envied a few friends that knew what their child's names were going to be back when we were in college. And just like clockwork when their children were born their long-known name was bestowed.  For the rest of us, we've search high and low for inspiration. Back when my first son was born there were a few websites dedicated to baby names, but the internet at that time wasn't quite the machine it is now. {Yes, I'm … [Read more...]

Air Fryer Parmesan Cumin Zucchini Fries with Herb Dipping Sauce & a Giveaway

I have received compensation for this post, however all opinions are my own. Included within this post are affiliate links that help support my site.  One of the latest kitchen gadgets that is "on trend" this holiday season is an air fryer. I don't own a regular oil fryer. No judgement, but it seemed to me that owning an oil fryer was a one way ticket to bad health. But an air fryer? No vast amounts of oil involved? This I had to try.  This particular air fryer is from Gourmia and can easily be ordered on Amazon. The instructions are straight forward. And even with no … [Read more...]

Eric Carle Hungry Caterpillar Foam Play Mat & a Giveaway

This is a sponsored post, however all opinions are my own.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar has become worn and tattered.  It has weathered the youth of three feisty book-loving boys. I have distinct memories of each of them sitting on my lap as we read this much-loved book. Undoubtedly their favorite part was to pretend to gobble up the food the caterpillar was eating, especially all the goodies, of course.  Inspired by The Very Hungry Caterpillar and the works of Eric Carle, The World of Eric Carle, is a line of toys, games, puzzles and more. We received … [Read more...]

How to Help Kids to Conquer Their Biggest Fears

This post was created in partnership with Disney-Hyperion for the #ReadMo Ambassador program, all opinions are my own. Everyone has fears. Adults and children - everyone. As a parent one of your roles is to help children learn how to manage their fears. Having the skills to be able to navigate life through the things you're scared of is important. But let's be real. Many adults struggle with conquering and managing their fears. It should be no surprise that kids do as well.  One of my biggest fears is heights. There should be a somewhat natural level of fear of being up … [Read more...]

Peppermint Hot Cocoa Oreo Balls on a Stick

The holiday season seemed vast when I was child. I would countdown the days to Christmas and they seemed to slowly drag by. My mom didn't even allow us to officially start celebrating the season until December 1st! I'm not sure if it's my age or the sign of the times, but the holiday season seems to speed by. Christmas music is on the radio even though we haven't even had the Thanksgiving turkey.  With this post I'm definitely contributing to this early Christmas phenomena. Though for the record my house is decorated with Thanksgiving still. But once turkey day is over, it's officially … [Read more...]

Creative, Imaginative Play with Magnaflex & a Giveaway

I have been compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.  The great gift giving season of 2017 is upon us. And so begins my attempt at discovering and gifting some of the best creative toys for my little fellas. Sometimes it can seems as though the market is only full of action heroes and violent wielding personas. To be fair, my guys have a plethora of these types of toys. To be a boy mom means you need to embrace epic heroes. While I don't diminish their need to conquer all, I also make sure I'm providing opportunities for them to play with creative and imagination … [Read more...]

5 Top Tips for Taking Kids to an Art Museum

This post was created in partnership with Disney-Hyperion for the #ReadMo Ambassador program, all opinions are my own.  Sometimes society would have you believe the predominate and iconic childhood pastime is football, baseball and/or any sort of sport. While my oldest and youngest boys do have a fondness for certain athletics my middle son is not interested in these games. He is intrigued by science and by the possibility of understanding how machines and animals work. He also considers himself an accomplished drawer. The newest release from Elephant & … [Read more...]

Slice of the Twin Cities Ticket Giveaway

I have received compensation for this post, all opinions are my own.  Minnesota Monthly has combined the best of two good things- autumn in Minnesota and pizza!! Snow is undoubtedly on our horizon, but soak up the last of fall's goodness with some family fun! On November 5th from 1-5 pm visit Minnetonka Orchard for the second annual Slice of the Twin Cities! Freshly prepared pizza from locations across the Twin Cities, seasonal beer and wine, live music, orchard visits, bonfires, hayrides and playgrounds for the kids make this a truly festive event.  Tickets:  … [Read more...]

Elements Massage in St. Louis Park & a One Hour Massage Giveaway

My experience at Elements Massage was complimentary, all opinions are my own.  Nestled in a convenient shopping location with St. Louis Park is a new massage salon, Elements Massage. I was fortunate to "test" their services and location immediately following my Ragnar Northwoods race.  After about 15 miles through rough roots and rocks, some of which was at night, with a minimal amount of sleep, my body was definitely sore and ready for a massage.  The lobby at Elements Massage was simple and calming. I filled out my essential pre-massage paperwork while I … [Read more...]

Sawdust Savvy DIY Workshop in Stillwater, Minnesota

My visit to Sawdust Savvy was complimentary, however all opinions are my own.  I recently took a little trip to Stillwater, Minnesota for a DIY wood sign class. I'm not inherently the DIY type so I was a little nervous and skeptical about the idea of building a sign. And to even add an extra level of pressure to my project I intended to gift my creations to my boss as a new baby gift. I'll cut to the chase and save you the time wondering if my venture was successful, it was. Through detailed instruction from the Sawdust Savvy staff and some careful work on my part, I was able to … [Read more...]

Maple Pecan Coffee

I received the following product for review purposes, all opinions are my own.  The fall season is officially upon those of us in Minnesota. I woke up this morning to a brisk 50 degree day. I love all that this time of year brings. Cozy sweaters, delicious soups, a chilly breeze, beautiful colors and warm coffee. I wish I could wrap up all that goodness and spread it out a bit over the entire year. Such as fall is, I must soak it all up while I can as the season is short-lived.  I've previously used a single serve coffeemaker that requires pods for all of my fall flavored … [Read more...]

Hilde Cracks the Case: Hero Dog! Giveaway

I have been compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.  School is finally in full swing here in Minnesota. It seems to me that Minnesota starts school much later than many others across the nation, with sessions not beginning until after Labor Day. Regardless, my boys and I have nightly conversations that circle around math, history, and reading requirements. Each of my fellas has his own level of required reading. Keeping them engaged and excited about reading can occasionally be an issue, but based upon my experience it's all about finding the right … [Read more...]